Un-updated: On the junta’s “election” II

17 09 2018

It seems no one trusts the military junta all that much. The Nation reports on a comment by law professor Ekachai Chainuvati who observes that the junta’s so-called green-light order on political activities “also empowers Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha to propose changes if he deems any activity objectionable…”.

In other words, this is the junta’s way of controlling things. So the green light is no green light at all. We hazard a guess that it is also a way to entrap the politicians the junta deems threatening, popular or just doesn’t like. The Dictator can declare them in breach of the law.

As the professor says: “This means there’s no certainty. If they want to amend the order, they can,” he said. “There’s nothing certain about this. They can change everything again over the next three months.

Pro-democracy activist Nuttaa Mahattana makes a good point: “Keeping the peace is only an excuse – we should ask what the real reason behind the ban is…. The way I see it, political activity is a form of communication, and when that communication is banned, we have to ask what the NCPO is afraid people will find out about.”

Nuttaa called a spade a spade: “such limitations on freedom … serve … only the political ambition of individual junta figures. Until now, she pointed out, they’ve been the only ones with the power to communicate and campaign for support.”

Meanwhile, the Election Commission, which ages ago reckoned its provincial offices were almost done on redrawing the constituency boundaries, now seems to have decided that they might start work on that. We guess the junta will be watching that closely and will have lots of “advice”-cum-orders.

Update: It seems the EC has proven good on its original word and the boundaries were done. That’s one obstacle out of the way. We have seen no commentary yet on whether the boundaries have been well drawn. Nope, just about to redraw them.