10 11 2014

Many royalists have been unhappy in recent years, considering that the monarchy has been under threat from opponents but also by the decline of the health of the king and queen, which prevents them from their former political activism.

Others have been unhappy because they assess that electoral democracy undermines the “cultural” constitution of Thailand that is modified absolutism best represented by Thai-style democracy. Many of these quite extreme monarchists see that all of the political “trouble” goes back to 1932.

This is seen in a report at Khaosod, where it is revealed that “[s]everal prominent academics have proposed reviving the Supreme Council of the State, a decision-making body that superseded all three branches of government during Thailand’s last days as an absolute monarchy.”

One of those cited is Chulalongkorn University political scientist Panitan Wattanayagorn, who qualifies as a professional spokesperson rather than an academic. He  reportedly stated “that including a Supreme Council in the new Constitution could help secure a ‘balance of power’ between different branches of government.”

Panitan said that a royal council would join the administrative, legislative and judicial branches in “balancing power.” In Panitan’s world, though, the balance is weighted: “It will be the fourth balance of power…. Under this system, the Supreme Council will wield the biggest power as a sovereign governing body.”

The panel where this royalist spokesperson expounded his reactionary views was “co-hosted by the conservative think-tank King Prajadhipok Institute and the National Reform Council (NRC)…”. The KPI boss and chairman of the military junta’s Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), Bowornsak Uwanno, who stated that this was not a KPI proposal but that it was “only a suggestion by Surapol.” He meant royalist Rangsit University’s Surapol Sriwitthaya.

Remarkably, even bizarrely, Surapol said “Chinese political philosophy” as an inspiration for his proposal. He cited republican Sun Yat-Sen, Montesquieu and King Prajadhipok in late 1920s.

One of the reasons cited for the 1932 revolution was complaints that Prajadhipok’s council “was stacked with top palace princes and [was] accused by critics of failing to impose any real reforms.”

You get the picture…. Reading the story shows that royalists are trying to “balance” a system that removes as much power as possible from elected politicians, demeaning votes and elections.




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