Setting traps

28 02 2014

Readers will easily recall the recent hullabaloo as anti-democrats were suddenly transformed, ditching their usual derogatory snarls at farmers who vote for pro-Thaksin Shinawatra parties into whistling supporters of the sturdy yeomanry that was mobilized to demand rice payments said to be overdue. It was a remarkable transformation that was clearly a political maneuver rather than a heartfelt recognition that “buffaloes” had suddenly become “heroes.”

In all of that bluster, the anti-democrats demanded that the government pay every single farmer every satang that was owed to them. The anti-democrats even went out collecting money for farmers as an act of charity, although it remains unclear whether a single satang made its way to any of the farmers suffering hardship.

But was all of this a political trap? It seems it was. A report at the Bangkok Post states that (anti-)Election Commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said that “along with its request for the Election Commission (EC) to approve the use of 20 billion baht from the budget [of the state’s contingency budget to pay off its debts to rice farmers], the government should explain whether the move would boost its popularity in the electorate.”

If paying the farmers, as demanded by the anti-democrats, somehow boosted electoral support, “the spending would violate Section 181(4) of the constitution, which prohibits the use of any government resources that might affect an election outcome.” Who could judge this is unclear, but we assume it would be the (anti-)Election Commission. Just to drive home the point, Somchai intimated that the government “request would violate Section 181(3) of the charter, which prohibits a caretaker government from taking any action that would create a burden for the incoming government.”

Emboldened by his support from anti-democrats, who have quickly forgotten their demands about farmers, Somchai said he needed “a full explanation of plans for the entire 70-billion-baht contingency fund, as well as an outline of plans to sell pledged rice this year.”

The (anti-)Election Commission has not only been foot-dragging on its duties related to elections and been politically active, but has been working hand-in-glove with the anti-democrats to set political and constitutional traps for the Yingluck Shinawatra government.


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25 12 2014
Of fools and other officials | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Yet in this cretinous cesspool Somchai takes the cake. In earlier posts, we referred to him as the (anti-)Election Commissioner. […]

25 12 2014
Of fools and other officials I | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Yet in this cretinous cesspool Somchai takes the cake. In earlier posts, we referred to him as the (anti-)Election Commissioner. […]




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