The military junta appears in more political trouble than it has been since seizing power in May 2014. Like most other military leaders who have a chance at pushing the nation about, this lot have come to enjoy the power and influence.
The junta head honchos are looking so desperate to stay in power that even their political allies among the anti-democrats are looking somewhat jaundiced – a pale yellow.
The Nation reports that the junta is getting support from its flunkies but that other (former?) allies are leaning away. It quotes Suriyasai Katasila, former People’s Alliance for Democracy co-leader, who wryly observes that the junta is “so interested” in “designing special mechanisms, namely selected senates, that the public has grown sceptical about its promises to relinquish power.”
He backs the reform agenda pushed by the son of PAD, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, saying the junta “should instead come up with concrete reform plans, set clear missions, steer the reforms and encourage various segments of the public to cooperate.” In other words, set the “reform” agenda and move on.
At the Bangkok Post, the deeply yellow columnist Veera Prateepchaikul lists a litany of junta demands and failures, stating:
… the proposed five-year transition period will be challenged. Sooner rather than later, the junta will realise it should stick to the original roadmap and return to the people the right to have a say in their own future.
He means an election, the very mechanism he opposed not that long ago.
Also suddenly wanting an election are senior members of the Democrat Party, renowned for both losing elections and boycotting them.
Deputy leader Nipit Intarasombat urged Constitution Drafting Committee chairman Meechai Ruchupan stick with the current draft charter and “principles.” We are not sure how Nipit would judge “principles” but he seems content with the anti-democrat “reform” agenda adopted by the CDC.
He seems worried that the military will stay on warning of “heavy public resistance if it [the CDC] gave in too much [to the junta], which would carry grim prospects for the charter referendum at the end of July.”
Another Democrat Party leader, Ong-art Klampaibul warned the junta to “listen to reason and not impose their will on the CDC.” He’s happy with the undemocratic notion of functional constituencies, “considered an indirect election, [“electing”] 200 senators from 20 social groups, 10 from each, [which] would vote across the groups to elect members of the Upper House.”
The anti-democrats seem to feel that they have a “suitable” constitution that will prevent true popular representation but fear the weight of the men in green.