Rigging at every turn

26 09 2018

Some editors still write silly things about the junta’s “election,” such as the dopey observation about “the prime minister [The Dictator] … ensur[ing] the rules of fair play are respected in the lead-up to the poll.”

This is ludicrous. For one thing, the whole event of the 2014 coup and the subsequent constitution, rule writing and much, much, more has been about rigging the election so that no pro-Thaksin Shinawatra Party has much of a chance. As things have evolved, that seems to mean that a pro-junta party/parties must “win.” There can be no free and fair election. Sure, a party or parties that are not pro-junta may pull off a surprise, but the junta has done much – with more to come – to ensure that possibility is as remote as possible. (But even then, they have hamstrung any future government that is not in the junta’s pocket.)

In the latest in a never-ending series of moves that seek to rig the elections, The Dictator has “given the green light to his cabinet ministers to engage in political party activities, saying he does not mind if they support a political party of their choice as long as they do not break the law.” It is expected that at least three cabinet ministers will likely show their hand at the Phalang Pracharat Party’s general meeting this weekend. One of them is likely to be party boss and another the party’s spokesman.

The Dictator was ready for the questions and stated that there was no law to prevent them doing this.

One legal person says that “while the constitution does not forbid cabinet ministers from engaging in political party activities as party executives or members, the charter does say cabinet ministers must not mix their ministerial duties with party affairs because this will constitute a conflict of interest in violation of the charter.”

But that’s hardly the point here. Law doesn’t matter to the junta or The Dictator. In a functioning electoral system, there are safeguards for those who go to election while in government. Of course, in this situation, there are no safeguards and the junta is manipulating the system it has created. Ethics seems to be a word that has never entered the lexicon on military politicians and their supporters.

This lack of an ethical compass is also seen in The Dictator using Article 44 to appoint one of his paid advisers and a political ally for the “election” as mayor of Pattaya. Sonthaya Khunpluem has been appointed, allegedly to “facilitate the government’s Eastern Economic Corridor push.” The dark influence deal done earlier is mentioned here.

Having Kamnan Poh’s son running the show means, say the junta, having “a mayor and management team ‘with high potential, experiences, knowledge and capabilities’ to support the government’s EEC policy while the law on Pattaya administration and mayor election is being amended to ensure constitutionality.”

It also means that Sonthaya and his family can continue to extract huge wealth from the area while, as leader of Chon Buri-based Phalang Chon Party,” can support the junta and The Dictator when an “election” comes around. The sans ethical junta must be smiling and happy about this move, thinking it means the eastern seaboard is in the bag when the “election” is held.

The last elected Pattaya mayor was Ittipon Khunpluem, Sonthaya’s brother.

At the same time, the junta’s minions are not neglecting the little things. So it is that the Election Commission has recognized a party and a party logo that mimic Puea Thai. That’s just to confuse voters – the junta thinks that rural voters are all dumber than the junta’s team – into voting for the wrong party.

There’s no end to this rigging. Free and fair? Not on your life.


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29 09 2018
Promoting loyal dullards and political allies | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] lie. Everyone in Thailand knows exactly what Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha is doing, but he denies the obvious. Sontaya is there to make huge wealth – as his family has long […]

29 09 2018
Promoting loyal dullards and political allies | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] lie. Everyone in Thailand knows exactly what Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha is doing, but he denies the obvious. Sontaya is there to make huge wealth – as his family has long […]




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