Anti-democrat doziness

28 11 2018

Soonruth Bunyamanee is editor of the Bangkok Post and he has an op-ed that is a commentary on the fact that an election ain’t changin’ nothin. Not for the junta.

He seems somewhat surprised by this, complaining that the appearance of change for Thai politics is “in fact, just follow[ing] its familiar pattern of putting old wine in new bottles.”

The stimulus for this seems to be the massive party jumping of the past week:

The spotlight has shone on the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), which is said to be a vehicle for the military regime to bring back Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to be prime minister for the second time after the election. Many politicians have switched camp to the PPRP which, by favourable constitutional conditions set by the coup-installed charter drafters, is expected to win a ticket to form a coalition government after the election.

As Soonruth observes, these “defections are obviously driven by a desire to be part of the next government.”

Somewhat disappointed and showing why he’s the editor of the Post, he reckons that The Dictator once offered “hope of change for the better under his and the military regime’s guidance.” Hope for diehard anti-democrats.

Soonruth’s disappointment is that:

the PPRP, as a machine to return Gen Prayut to power, has delivered something we didn’t hope for. Most politicians defecting to the PPRP are “the old faces” and many of them seem to be from the group Gen Prayut called “bad politicians”.

PPRP executives say the party will make changes to the country. I wonder how they can do it with the same old politicians. What they could do is contest the election in the old ways — by campaigning through canvassers appealing to political bases.

Has Soonruth been asleep for more than four years? Did he miss the bit about the junta coming to power to destroy the Thaksin Shinawatra party/parties? Did he doze off when the junta’s constitution wound the political clock back?

He’s in anti-democrat shock:

The PPRP’s political model is not new. It is the same model adopted 20 years ago by the now-dissolved Thai Rak Thai Party, the political establishment from which Pheu Thai was spawned….

He’s wrong. The model is pre-TRT, and that is what the military junta intended from the beginning. Its all about hoovering up all and sundry provincial toughs and thugs and having multi-party coalitions and weak government.

The 1997 constitution changed that and Thaksin grabbed that opportunity and had strong government and much more party discipline. That’s what the constitution gave and what the ‘good people” thought they wanted at the time. Thaksin turned out to be their horror movie and turned them back to the fascist military.

We know Soonruth has been dozing when he claims the “upcoming election should be a time when Thai politics is changed by voters.” He seems not to have been watching what the junta has been doing.



2 responses

29 11 2018
Done and dusted? | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] unlike Soonruth Bunyamanee at the Bangkok Post, the unnamed author appears to have suddenly realized that the “election” is rigged, […]

29 11 2018
Done and dusted? | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] unlike Soonruth Bunyamanee at the Bangkok Post, the unnamed author appears to have suddenly realized that the “election” is rigged, […]

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