Thailand’s army boss and junta member General Udomdej Sitabutr has said something expected but with a surprising twist.
The expected was that the general said the military dictatorship’s “plan” for elections in 2016 or 2017 or sometime else “may be postponed…”. The twist is that he states that this “postponement” might be “if unspecified events take place.”
The military dictatorship has given plenty of signals that it is not going to go to an election until it is absolutely sure its favored people can win or that the system is so rigged against a “populist” election winner that it can never do anything to change the complexion of the social, political and economic order.
The re-emergence of the anti-democrat movement under Suthep Thaugsuban has provided support for that position by (again) demanding “reform” before an election, where “reform” means an electoral and constitutional system that is so rigged against a “populist” election winner that it can never do anything to change the complexion of the social, political and economic order. The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha even went so far as to thank Suthep for his support: “He [Suthep] has said things and expressed support for me, and I thank him as a person, because I have known him for a long time.”
He did ask Suthep to stay within the junta’s rules, but clearly double standards are at work when it comes to the anti-democrats.
Udomdej’s surprise was to mention “possible under certain circumstances” that could postpone elections. He added that “if certain events were to transpire, the military might remain in power longer. He did not specify what those events might be.” He also said: “… some parts of the road map may be extended in their time frame, because some events may take place…”.
He’s clear that “something” might happen.
Any guesses? We went to the bookies, and the betting seemed clear. Unexpected event:
25/1 anti-democrat agitation
10/1 constitution held up or defeated in referendum
5/1 another coup
1/25 death of the king