Maintaining the junta

23 06 2015

An article by Hiroshi Kotani the Nikkei’s Asian Review begins with understatement, suggesting that it just might be that Thailand’s military dictatorship is going to stay in power: “It is becoming less clear when Thailand’s military rulers will step aside…”.

PPT would suggest that this isn’t “less clear.” In fact, it is crystal clear that this military junta has no intention of standing aside or allowing an election until its leaders are convinced that only anti-democrats and supporters of the royalist elite will rule Thailand. In addition, The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha has been adamant that even if there is a new royalist regime via military-mutated electoral rules, the military brass will intervene again and again if its preferred regime is not doing its bidding.

The article is on firmer ground in arguing that anti-democrat supporters of the military junta are seeking to extend The Dictator’s time in power at the head of the royalist fiefdom. They are, it says, “plotting to delay the as yet unscheduled general election. They aim to get the junta to keep governing longer.” These anti-democrats continue to rant, as they have since early 2014, that “reform should come before any election. Little is said about what sorts of reform are needed, though.”

In fact, “reform” is the junta’s task in changing the rules of politics to prevent any return of pro-Thaksin Shinawatra parties and politicians to government. The anti-democrats prefer not to test those new rules.

The article is recognizes this, stating: “It is questionable whether time is what the current military government needs. It has no significant achievements to show in its efforts toward national reconciliation and economic recovery during the year or so since the coup.” It adds: “In such circumstances, it is difficult to see how the junta will solve the challenges facing the nation even if it stays in power for two more years.”

For the anti-democrats, it would solve the problem of still-popular Thaksin and, they hope, would allow for succession in the palace to be achieved with the military managing it.



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