When the junta rigs elections I

15 10 2018

What happens when the military junta is rigging an election? PPT has had a heck of a lot of posts on this already. Even so, we think it time to begin a series of posts.

One thing that junta has done is arranged a series of puppet organizations that are sometimes inaccurately referred to as “independent.” They are not independent of the junta. Indeed the reason persons get appointed to such puppet outfits is because of loyalty to the junta and those around it.

The Election Commission is one of these puppet organizations.

EC secretary-general Pol Col Jarungvith Phumma has “explained” that the EC warned the Future Forward Party against receiving contributions from supporters. In doing this, it was working for the junta.

Jarungvith now “clarifies” that “[p]olitical parties are allowed to receive donations…”, BUT the parties “need to seek approval from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)…”. That’s the junta.

The receiving of contributions is considered legal by the Revenue Department and under the organic law on political parties. But none of that trumps the military junta.

So, in the wash-up, no party is permitted to accept funds or raise funds WITHOUT the junta’s permission. Rigging? You bet! A dependent EC? You bet!

As it turns out, some the FFP’s revenue was not from contributions but “from souvenir sales…”. Presumably they need junta permission for that too. (In fact, FFP now says it only received funds from the sale of products and membership fees.)

Jarungvith added that “parties that wish to seek donations can seek permission from the NCPO through the EC…”.

In essence, the EC is the junta’s processing terminal on rigging the election.

As part of that, that the EC “has set up tambon democracy promotion centres to boost public understanding about the democratic system ahead of the polls…”. We have no idea what that means, but we guess that, as a junta processing terminal on rigging the election, then there’s likely to be a promotion of the junta’s version of (non) democracy.