Monopolizing the premiership

4 06 2017

A week ago we posted briefly on The Dictator’s “questions.” The point of our post was to note that political parties were panicked that General Prayuth Chan-ocha and his cronies were likely to stay on longer and longer.

We commented that members of the political parties in calling for an “election” were neglecting that any “election,” they throw their support behind the junta’s constitution, its rules and its “election.” Our view was that they had been driven into a junta cul-de-sac from which they will find it difficult to break out once they have accepted the junta’s rules, procedures and illegitimate constitution.

The junta is continuing its campaign. The Bangkok Post reports that a campaign is underway to promote The Dictator and his (faux) questions.

His former boss in the army, General Anupong Paojinda, now Interior Minister, has been looking at a nationwide “campaign” so that “people can in two weeks’ time write their responses to four questions about future elections and governance posed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha last week to educate the public and help foster democracy.”

The Interior Ministry will control the propaganda exercise, using its minions fro governors to village heads, and ensuring that anyone providing a response is identified, presumably to prevent any dissent.

Gen Anupong also said “he trusted no state officials would distort the people’s answers during the opinion-gathering process.” He claimed, “There’s no reason to do such a thing…”.

Of course, these officials know who provides their rice, so they are likely to ensure a particular outcome, keep activists away and will keep The Dictator happy.

Prayuth has said that “the questions were designed to get people to think about the consequences of voting for the wrong candidates.” He’s done this before, when he told voters who they should and should not vote for in the 2011 election.

We have to admit that we don’t think there will be an election any time soon. Prayuth looks set to stay on and these ploys play into his dictatorial hands.