Further updated: Prem votes for Prayuth (maybe)

28 12 2017

The President of the king’s Privy Council, General Prem Tinsulanonda, a former but never elected military prime minister and, more recently, a leader of anti-Thaksin Shinawatra forces and a coup planner, has redoubled his love for the military dictatorship.

Khaosod reports that the junta’s annual New Year visit to pay homage to the coup-master saw a public and mutual love-fest among these military opponents of a democratic Thailand.

The report states that Prem “showered the ruling junta … with his praise and support.” And why not. They are his boys doing his work for him.

Prem “blessed” the dictators and stated that “the public would be on the side of junta chairman Prayuth ‘Tuu’ Chan-ocha as long as he keeps working for the greater good.” He said:

Tuu has used up nearly all of his reserve forces. He barely has any reserves yet… But if you show the goodwill you have for the Thai people, more reserves will show up. Therefore, please stick to your goals, so that you will have more reserves….

I’d like to express my admiration and pride for the works that Tuu’s government has done…. I’d like to also stress on Tuu’s words that he will bring happiness to Thai people. He must commit to this goal, no matter how exhausted he is.

Prem apparently nominated Prime Minister’s Office secretary-general General Vilas Arunsri as a future prime minister: “You can easily become a prime minister because you work closely with Prayuth…”. That’s a tip worth following.

While it is no longer entirely clear how much the aged Prem speaks for the Privy Council or for the palace, his opinion still carries political weight, clearly Prem is voting for continued military domination that mirrors his own time in the top job.

Update 1: The Bangkok Post has some important additions to the Khaosod report. It adds that Prem “warned Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha Thursday that he has lost much of his support base but still has a chance to win the public over by serving as a positive role model.”

Prayuth is reported to have “responded by indicating he has a list of populist policy plans up his sleeve including some aimed at improving stagnating wage levels.” More plans and more giveaways?

Prem said that The Dictator “must stick to this goal and be determined to do everything in his power to make the public happier…”. And he continued: “I hope he stays true and attracts more supporters. Tu can do it, we can do it, too — and we are doing it…”.

Update 2: One of the odd things about social media debate on Prem’s talk with The Dictator is the the glee with which anti-coup types greet the seemingly negative comments. It strikes us as odd because both Prem and Prayuth are peas in a pod, even if there are times when they maneuver around each other. They each agree on the way “forward.” But Prem seems unhappy with the ever-extending “roadmap.” He wants more senators beholden to him whenever the “election” comes and he wants Prayuth to hold an “election” before the junta becomes politically rancid, thus ensuring authoritarianism or Thai-style democracy is Thailand’s political system into the future. Prayuth seems less keen. In any case, it remains to be explained who Prem speaks for these days.


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4 responses

1 01 2018
What not to forget about 2017 | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] the junta on its path to a Premocracy, reflected in the junta’s constitution and its hopes for continuing political domination. 2018 may be the year that Prem’s desperate measures pay off, although his age and his more […]

1 01 2018
What not to forget about 2017 | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] the junta on its path to a Premocracy, reflected in the junta’s constitution and its hopes for continuing political domination. 2018 may be the year that Prem’s desperate measures pay off, although his age and his more […]

2 01 2018
Abhisit in the mirror | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] the same time, he reflects the views  – even plagiarizes them – of General Prem Tinsulanonda, another […]

2 01 2018
Abhisit in the mirror | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] the same time, he reflects the views  – even plagiarizes them – of General Prem Tinsulanonda, another […]




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