The Dictator and “unfinished business”

10 08 2015

PPT has sometimes briefly wondered why a digital media news editor at the Bangkok Post has a weekly column on politics. But then Saritdet Marukatat has a reasonably long history as a yellow-shirted rightist and we guess the rag’s owners like his political views, even if he does hold the gong for the most ridiculous op-ed we at PPT have read in a newspaper that presents itself as a serious news outlet.

His task this past week has been to support the military dictatorship, The Dictator and, at least for the moment, the junta’s roadmap. That also seems to be the task of another Post op-ed rightist, Veera Prateepchaikul who also attacks those wanting reform before elections.

Believe The Dictator says Saritdet. Despite extending the junta’s term in power, General Prayuth Chan-ocha and the military junta have “no desire to stay longer in office and is looking forward to an elected government taking over Government House from him.”

He admits that “some National Reform Council members and Suthep Thaugsuban, leader of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee” might be a bit disappointed, and might fear that the 2014 coup will go the way of the “failed” 2006 putsch “which failed to uproot the political influence of Thaksin Shinawatra.”

But worry not, he asserts: “An election will return the country to a credible position internationally.” And, he might have added, don’t worry that this will be anything other than a sham election.

The new constitution will be passed by the puppet National Reform Council and “a referendum in early January,” which will be no problem. In other words, the “roadmap is still on…”.

What about after the “election.” Saridet explains The Dictator’s scheme:

If things go as planned, the new charter will welcome an outsider as prime minister for the sake of stability, if politics reaches an impasse when parties cannot decide on a premiership candidate after the poll.

The charter writers have already made it difficult for one party to dominate parliament. It looks like a return to the old days of Thai politics when small parties could bargain for cabinet seats….

If there is “political instability,” then the outsider PM will be used: “As of this moment, there seems only one candidate who fits the outsider mould. He knows what has been done and what should be pursued by an elected government to finish all reform issues.” We guess that any kind of nominated “instability” will do.

To be honest, we do not have the insider knowledge of the yellow-shirted schemers, so we are left to guess on the one “candidate.” Prayuth perhaps? He’d be Prem-like, controlling everything.

The result would be that “[r]eal democracy might have to wait a bit longer because there remains ‘unfinished business’.”

That’s the real roadmap.