The military junta has an uneasy relationship with the anti-democrats who paved the way for its 2014 military coup.
On the one hand, there can be little doubt that the military brass had numerous political alliances with Suthep Thaugsuban’s People’s Democratic Reform Committee, as it agitated to provide a pretext for yet another military intervention. On the other hand, the military brass is always concerned about anyone or any group that can mobilize outside its control. (The military does not mind mobilizing its own groups for political purpose.)
Despite this uneasiness, the military junta knows that its relationship with the PDRC was critical for kicking out another Shinawatra government and providing the royalist elite with another opportunity to reorganize its dominant political position.
It is in this context that a recent Bangkok Post story that reports that the disruption of the 2014 election by PDRC protesters was “constitutional” should come as no surprise.
The Criminal Court dismissed the case filed by public prosecutors against PDRC members who surrounded the Din Daeng District Office to prevent officials from distributing ballots to polling places. This action meant that “no voters in the district could exercise their right [to vote]…”.
The court ruled the PDRC action “was legitimate based on a judgement by the Constitutional Court.”
The protest “at the district office was also peaceful and unarmed. Besides, there was no proof all the suspects padlocked the gate of the office as accused by the prosecutors…”. In fact, much violence occurred prior to election day as the PDRC created a situation that was meant to intimidate voters and those election officials who weren’t already aligned with the anti-democrats.
There are other PDRC thugs awaiting trial on similar charges. They can be fairly confident that they will now walk free after having deprived voters of their constitutional rights.