After the stolen “election”

7 05 2018

The military junta and The Dictator seem increasingly confident that their “election” is in the bag. They give every indication that the process of stealing the “election” has been a success. This means that the junta is now looking beyond the “election,” even if the actual date for that plebiscite for the junta has yet to be confirmed. (Of course, we don’t rule out the possibility of a change to junta plans.)

We think this confidence is why Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha is now talking of the changes needed for a new less-than-democratic legislature. The Bangkok Post reports that Gen Prayuth wants the opposition parties to be more loyal to the government.

There’s a long history of calling for “national government” in Thailand, usually by conservative types, and this proposal smells a little like the notion of a “united” government working for the “national good.” Naturally enough, that “national good” is always defined in narrow terms beneficial to the ruling elite and other conservatives and anti-democrats.

The Dictator has called for the term “opposition” associated with parties not of the government to be changed to “opposition and support.” That is, these not-in-government parties have to cooperate and support the government in the “national interest.”

The Dictator defines the “national interest” as the junta’s interests:

… in the matters concerning national strategy and reform agendas, the opposition should give its support and cooperation otherwise the country will not be able to achieve anything and will not be able to develop in a sustainable manner….

Gen Prayuth also demanded that the opposition serve the government by being “constructive” in their opposition.

In this report, the criticism of Prayuth’s demands came from a member of the Democrat Party, long known for their ant-democrat stand, but which now finds itself in a political wilderness as the military dictatorship manages its own “election” to power.

The Democrat Party’s Watchara Petthong rightly observed that The Dictator is “addicted to power” and that he “does not understand the democratic system…”. True, and neither does the Democrat Party.

Yet Watchara also misunderstands The Dictator’s intent, which is anything but a democratic system; he plans an extension of authoritarianism, with “legitimacy” granted by a rigged “election.”


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