Rightists lined up

17 07 2018

For Thailand’s rightists, keeping The Dictator in place is bringing them together. The military junta’s rigging of Thailand’s future in ways that more or less align with the efforts of anti-democrats and they fear that anything other than a military-backed, more civilized region will see backsliding on electoral democracy and “reform.”

The junta’s rules, seen in the constitution and associated laws, mean that the anti-democrat agenda depends on a rigged election that produces MPs for a group of pro-junta parties in addition to the junta’s own Palang Pracharath Party.

As a report in the Bangkok Post observes, “the current Constitution setting out a new mechanism likely to hinder any single party from securing a parliamentary majority, but giving emerging parties such as the ACT [Action Coalition of Thailand] a chance to gain a scattering of MP seats.”

Suthep and friends

This is one reason why the rightist anti-democrats who have come together as ACT “is willing to join hands with ‘all parties with the same ideology’ ahead of the next general election…”. That’s anti-democrat leader and ACT co-founder Suthep Thaugsuban saying this.

This was never in doubt, but Suthep saying it amounts to a campaign promise.

Suthep said that the coalition of anti-democrat parties “… will give us the ability to reform the country and bring about full democracy.”

“Full democracy” mean no democracy at all but aligns with the military junta’s notion of “democracy” as a guided democracy, with rightists, royalists and military (all overlapping categories) doing the guiding.

Suthep is positioning ACT as “parties and politicians, most displaying support for the ruling junta, begin gathering voices with an eye to the election…”.

The report also notes that “ACT has said little about its policies or whom it would support as the next prime minister.” In one sense, under the junta’s rules, such things are no longer necessary. They weren’t necessary before the 1997 constitution changed political rules. Some parties made campaign promises but seldom did much about them.

That said, we can expect ACT to babble about “reform” and offer support to The Dictator as premier. That support will be conditional on ACT bosses getting cabinet slots. It is all so 1980s and 1990s.


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