Prem, the junta and rising criticism

22 01 2018

Brief reports state that nonagenarian Privy Council chairman and political mover-and-shaker of years gone by, Gen Prem Tinsulanonda has announced he “will not be able to attend a traditional reception party on Sunday night to mark Royal Thai Armed Forces Day for health reasons…”.

Naturally enough, reporters reckon this must be further evidence that the old man has run out of patience for Generals Prayuth Chan-ocha and Prawit Wongsuwan.

We don’t know, but are tempted to believe Lt Gen Pitsanu Phuthawong, Prem’s taxpayer-funded aide, who says Prem, “has eaten less and felt weak since early last week.” But then Prem is said to be still chairing Tuesday Privy Council meetings and he usually loves military shindigs as he bathes in his former glory.

Pretty much all the other reporting is of disenchantment – for the yellowish lot – and exasperation – for those who have opposed the junta since the coup.

The Democrat Party, with leaders who have been staunch supporters of the junta, is now regularly rolling out critics of the junta who appear to provide “advice” to the junta.

The latest is Deputy Democrat Party leader Nipit Intarasombat. He said the yellow “dream” of “reform” is now unlikely as “some key figures in the government are embroiled in scandals stemming from allegations over a lack of transparency.”

Nipit sees no way out for The Dictator who protects Prawit as his elder “brother” unless he behaves more like a politician and protects his own ass.

The failure to deal with such scandals means:

the government and the regime seem to be moving away from the path of reform as the regime begins to interact with political groups which were former allies of the Pheu Thai Party, such as politicians from the Sasomsap family who wield political influence in Nakhon Pathom province.

This is causing huge dissatisfaction among the yellow ones.

Nipit even complained that “it was strange the regime is more keen to foster ties with certain politicians than the Democrat Party, which is the chief rival of Pheu Thai.”

Despite all of this, Nipit reckons Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha will easily become an outside premier.

Nipit seems to ask for The Dictator to pay attention to his party.

Meanwhile,  Puea Thai is more critical, saying “the government now faces crises entirely of its own making which threaten its downfall.”

Party secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai reckons the junta faces a crisis of confidence in leadership, another on its “flip-flops on the election roadmap, that it lacks transparency and another crisis over its distortion of the rule of law.

A weak and illegitimate military regime is dangerous.


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23 01 2018
Prawit’s watches and the junta’s faithful | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] anti-democrats and yellow shirts are abandoning Prawit for the sake of maintaining the regime. Yesterday we posted on the Democrat Party “advice” to the junta it has so vigorously supported. Today it is reported that […]

23 01 2018
Prawit’s watches and the junta’s faithful | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] anti-democrats and yellow shirts are abandoning Prawit for the sake of maintaining the regime. Yesterday we posted on the Democrat Party “advice” to the junta it has so vigorously supported. Today it is reported that […]

11 04 2018
Songkran campaigning | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Brief conjecture back in January was that nonagenarian Privy Council chairman and political mover-and-shaker of years gone by, Gen Prem Tinsulanonda had snubbed The Dictator and his men. […]

11 04 2018
Songkhran campaigning | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Brief conjecture back in January was that nonagenarian Privy Council chairman and political mover-and-shaker of years gone by, Gen Prem Tinsulanonda had snubbed The Dictator and his men. […]