Now that the military junta has had its way with the referendum and anti-democratic charter, its next task is to ensure that it gets the government it wants in place. We can see two possibilities: a new military-backed party or a coalition of anti-democrats, loosely organized around a revamped Democrat Party and probably sans Abhisit Vejjajiva.
It was the day before yesterday….
When we updated that post we said:
The junta has declared that there will be an election in 2017, but likely in December rather than July. And, apparently responding to PPT, has also stated that it will not establish a political party. Believe them? We don’t.
How much things change in just 48 hours. Or, they don’t, and the junta and The Dictator remain inveterate liars.
One day after Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon indicated no military involvement in politics, plans were announced for a pro-coup political party to back Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha as the post-election prime minister.
No surprises in this for anyone.
Nor is there any surprise that the new military party grows out of the anti-democratic, ultra-nationalist, royalist and statist Buddhist and anti-Thaksin Shinawatra movements:
The self-appointed leader of the new pro-military party is Paiboon Nititawan, a Buddhist activist who was a member of Gen Prayut’s original National Reform Council, formed in May, 2014, but now defunct.
Since then, he has been known mainly as a strong campaigner against the Dhammakaya sect, opposing the official nominee for Supreme Patriarch. He is closely aligned with the activist Buddhist monk and Bangkok Shutdown leader Phra Buddha Isara.
On Monday Mr Paiboon announced his intention to set up a party and run in the next general election for the House of Representatives.
He called for “retired” military officers to join his party.
Welcome to the era of strongmen, military politicians and repression. (Yes, we know, this began more than two years ago.)