Going to the goats

29 11 2017

Prime Minister and junta boss General Prayuth Chan-ocha went south in what some say was a campaign trip and a publicity exercise.

It did not go well.

The Dictator’s mobile cabinet meeting took him to Pattani and Songkhla where many promises were made and billions of baht in infrastructure and other projects highlighted.

Listening but not hearing

With his jet black Chinese Politburo hair and Prem Tinsulanonda-style, “royally-bestowed,” but invented “traditional” suea phraratchathan looked suitably 1980s as he campaigned for his “election,” whenever he decides to bestow one on the Thai people.

The Dictator promised to do something about falling rubber prices. Interestingly, because of their political profile in supporting anti-democrats and The Dictator’s military coup, the rubber growers seem to have Prayuth on a string. Thailand’s rubber price follows market prices which were high earlier in the year. The Dictator wants to shore up his political support among growers.

After those efforts, things went south.

General Prayuth seemed to throw doubt on local elections, telling “local administrative organisations not to merely focus on elections…”.

The police and military lit into 500 protesters opposing a coal-fired power plant project in Songkhla’s Thepha district. With images of the authorities pushing people to the ground, “16 people, including four leaders, of the  were arrested Monday after their rally resulted in three injuries during a clash with police.”

Can that one vote?

Many of the protesters also fall into the groups that (previously) supported the junta and the coup. They are now finding out what it means to be considered oppositional. Predictably, The Dictator defended the authorities and their violence.

The Dictator was also short-tempered with potential voters and was accused of being deaf to locals. Worse, The Dictator and his “government” were “perceived as ‘unfriendly’ to residents.”

In another incident, The Dictator launched a pail of “vitriol at a fisherman during his visit in Pattana’s Nong Chik district on Monday when Paranyu Charoen, a 34-year-old fisherman, asked the prime minister to change fishing regulations to increase the number of days that fisherman can put to sea.”

Prayuth’s PR people soon apologized “for his foul temper.”

The Democrat Party sought to make political mileage, saying Prayuth did not understand “the problems of fishermen…”.

Chulalongkorn University political scientist and devout yellow shirt Chaiyan Chaiyaporn warned the junta “to abstain from being a political player.”

It is a bit late for that. What he means is that the junta should not get involved in political campaigning so that it may continue to dominate politics following any “election.”


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1 12 2017
Junta doubles down in repression of (former) allies | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] us, what is most telling is the manner in which the junta has cracked down on the anti-coal dissidents in the south. Using methods previously reserved for its political opponents, the junta has gone […]

1 12 2017
Junta doubles down in repression of (former) allies | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] us, what is most telling is the manner in which the junta has cracked down on the anti-coal dissidents in the south. Using methods previously reserved for its political opponents, the junta has gone […]

14 12 2017
Corruption and campaigning | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Protected by dozens of security guards, this campaign visit was better managed than the awful failure in the south. […]

14 12 2017
Corruption and campaigning | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Protected by dozens of security guards, this campaign visit was better managed than the awful failure in the south. […]

27 12 2017
The junta’s “election” stitch up | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Prayuth Chan-ocha’s provincial campaigning has continued. After a bit of a cock-up in the south, the junta managed to orchestrate things better in the […]

27 12 2017
The junta’s “election” stitch up | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Prayuth Chan-ocha’s provincial campaigning has continued. After a bit of a cock-up in the south, the junta managed to orchestrate things better in the […]

27 12 2017
The junta’s “election” stitch up I | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Prayuth Chan-ocha’s provincial campaigning has continued. After a bit of a cock-up in the south, the junta managed to orchestrate things better in the […]

27 12 2017
The junta’s “election” stitch up I | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Prayuth Chan-ocha’s provincial campaigning has continued. After a bit of a cock-up in the south, the junta managed to orchestrate things better in the […]

21 02 2018
Defining the junta by its double standards | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] after the government decided to put the contentious projects on hold.” Not that long ago, the junta was arresting anti-coal protesters. These protesters have by and large been junta supporters. The junta’s actions against them […]

21 02 2018
Defining the junta by its double standards | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] after the government decided to put the contentious projects on hold.” Not that long ago, the junta was arresting anti-coal protesters. These protesters have by and large been junta supporters. The junta’s actions against them […]