2019 “election”

5 12 2017

Remember that late 2018 “election”? Even with the military dictatorship fixing the electoral rules, fixing the institutions, and likely to fix the result, that date is looking even less likely than when the junta made the announcement.

We use “fixing” in the sense of match fixing.

The Bangkok Post reports that some now predict that the “[military] regime’s possible delay of lifting the political ban could cause a general election to be postponed to 2019…”. Those saying this are “united” in that whatever their political hue, they are “civilians.”

One is former PAD leader Suriyasai Katasila. He points out, as others have, that 5 January is the “deadline for political parties to complete mandatory processes, including notifications of changes of party members to the registrar…”. Because of the ban on political party activity, they simply can’t begin this process.

One of the requirements is that by 4 April each party to find 500 members within 180 days of the law taking effect, find an initial fund of 1 million baht, call a meeting to alter their regulations, prepare their ideology, elect party executives, establish party branches and appoint branch representatives and pay the party fees…”.

The thinking is that either the military dictatorship is going to seek to hamper political parties by sticking to the deadline, while advantaging its preferred party or parties or it will later extend the deadline, thus further delaying the election.

Suriyasai says that some “political parties may lose their legal status and no longer exist if they are unable to meet the stipulated requirements within a given deadline, whether it is extended or not…”.

Chart Thai Pattana Party’s director Nikorn Chamnong agreed, saying “the only way to cope with the deadline of updating the party’s member database is to ask for an extension, otherwise the parties might have to be dissolved for failure to comply with the organic law.”

The junta’s blunt strategy is plain to see. Concoct plots, delay political activity (even under its fixed rules), weaken most political parties and stay in power as long as possible. Delaying elections (even under its fixed rules) means that the junta gets its preferred political outcome.


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