Goldilocks and the junta’s “election”

8 09 2018

As some parties express reservations about 60 days of “election” campaigning, junta lackey Wissanu Krea-ngam got testy.

It needs to be recalled that the 60 days has to also include a lot of party and policy development, not least because parties are “required to submit their policy plans to the Election Commission for approval before they could start campaigning.” With no political meetings allowed by the junta, as a Future Forward Party spokesman observed, “the limited time for policy discussions would also impact voters, not just the parties.”He made the good point that “if voters were to also participate in electoral politics, including reflecting on different parties’ policies and understanding them, they would definitely need more than 60 days…”.

Of course, the junta is counting on the parties that support it to be modeled on the parties of yore, when vote buying ruled and policies were non-existent.

The EC doesn’t even have guidelines on how it will vet party policies. We guess the junta will tell them which policies and which parties will pass muster. (The EC also doesn’t have boundaries decided and doesn;t have its election monitors/supervisors selected.)

Wissanu’s response was that “during the government of former prime minister M.R. Kukrit Pramoj when parties were given only 20 days for electioneering.” Perhaps he might have added that Kukrit’s government was chaotic and only his Social Action Party only won 18 seats and was an unstable coalition government; you might say, exactly what the junta wants.

Wissanu “warned politicians that the election might be postponed from next February to May if they think that the 70-day [or 60 day] period permissible for election campaigning is not enough.” But, then again, he declared “for the time being, nothing has been fixed yet,” and got all Goldilocks by saying “the period for election campaigning should not be too short or too long…”. Presumably he means the period should be “just right” (for the junta).


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