And, how’s that “election” coming along?

24 12 2017

As regular readers will know, PPT hasn’t joined the boostering about a junta “election” taking place next November. As it has turned out, all of the enthusiasm for a junta “election” has quickly faded.

In what should now be obvious to all, the military dictatorship has had The Dictator use his dictatorial powers – Article 44 – to provide advantages to “new” parties. The “balance” is now so far titled in favor of “new” parties that the junta might even be able to smell its (first) “electoral” victory.

The military bosses might be sniffing the political air a little too soon. After all, the Bangkok Post reckons that the recent use of Article 44 is “doomed” because “any misuse of power to benefit any particular group or help the military remain in power could take the country closer to the already ticking timebomb.”At the same time, the Post notes what General Prayuth Chan-ocha has done:

… paving the way for the formation of new political parties, possibly parties that have been rumoured to be in the making with the aim of the military transferring its powers if and when elections are held 336 days from today.

What was more surprising was the fact that under our dear leader’s abuse of power this time, all party members who want to keep their membership have to submit a letter to confirm their choice of party leader and pay their membership fee within a period of 30 days or lose their membership.

The 70-year-old Democrat Party, for instance, may lose the bulk of its nearly three million members….

Moreover, the party law previously exempted members of existing parties from paying a membership fee for four years. But the Section 44 order has nullified that and ordered both old and new parties to collect a membership fee for 2018 from at least 500 qualified members within 180 days, from April 1 to the end of September.

… What Gen Prayut has done with his use of the magic wand is give new political parties a month’s head start as they are allowed to start by March 1 against April 1 for existing parties.

This move looks set to help political parties and individuals who support the military, such as the likes of street protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban and Paiboon Nititawan, a former senator appointed by the military.

It is all pretty straightforward and is in line with every other move the military junta has made since its coup. It is preparing to maintain power and influence over Thailand’s emerging semi-authoritarian politics for another 15 or so years, at least.

The old political parties can cry foul but they are daft if they continue to publicly say that the junta is only now rigging the “election”; that’s been its grand game since the coup.

The Nation also added some important points:

The order also schedules the new deadline for political parties to complete their administrative work, which brings into question whether the election scheduled in November next year was still possible. The political parties Act, which was promulgated in early October, will come into effect only on April 1, 2018, according to the junta order yesterday.

The Article 44 order allows executive party members to continue in their positions but allows existing party members to choose whether to remain with the same parties.

If current party members want to keep their party membership, they must submit letters to confirm that choice to the party leader and pay a membership fee between April 1 to 30 next year or they will lose their status. Observers said the short period of time raises practical difficulties.

Moreover, the party law previously exempted the members of existing parties from paying a membership fee for four years. But the Article 44 order has nullified that and ordered that both old and new parties collect a membership fee for 2018 from at least 500 qualified members within 180 days or from April 1 to the end of September.

That timeframe makes it highly unlikely that elections will be able to take place in November, as announced earlier by Prayut.

As we have stated many times, the junta will hold its “election” when it can achieve the result it expects and wants.


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

[…] The junta and The Dictator are working hard on what they assume will their “election” victory, whenever they decide to allow one. The campaign has been underway for a considerable time. […]

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

[…] The junta and The Dictator are working hard on what they assume will their “election” victory, whenever they decide to allow one. The campaign has been underway for a considerable time. […]

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

[…] The junta and The Dictator are working hard on what they assume will their “election” victory, whenever they decide to allow one. The campaign has been underway for a considerable time. […]

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

[…] The junta and The Dictator are working hard on what they assume will their “election” victory, whenever they decide to allow one. The campaign has been underway for a considerable time. […]




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