Prem “votes” for The Dictator

27 12 2018

The groveling before the grand old man of conservative and royalist Thailand Gen Prem Tinsulanonda takes place a few times each year. It is military types who usually slither in to see Prem as, over many decades, they have owed him their positions and the perquisites that come with them.

The great political manipulator of the ninth reign has ordained military premiers and their unelected governments. He has sometimes anointed civilian governments that are prepared to kowtow to his and the king’s will. Those who don’t  are in trouble. Those he dislikes have been in serious trouble.

Now he’s ancient and increasingly frail, the snail trails to his taxpayer funded villa are a ritual. Even so, whatever he utters during these tedious meet and greets, have tended to be important for royalists as they saw him as channeling the king’s views. Prem made the most of this impression to promote himself and his influence. We can guess that his position as president of the Privy Council doesn’t count for much in the tenth reign, but royalists will still carefully listen.

Prem dispensed his usual “advice,” but the most important thing he did was “vote” for The Dictator, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, praising The Dictator “for running the country with a strong determination to bring peace to society and drag Thais out of poverty. This was a role model for being the country’s leader…”. Prem should know. He ruled with palace backing for about a decade, hardly ever showed up in parliament and never faced the electorate.


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31 12 2018
Forgetting history | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] just over 30 years ago. Last week, he climbed back into the ring for just a few moments.” If Prem’s advice to and support of The Dictator was a political involvement, then he’s been doing this for decades, even before he became […]

31 12 2018
Forgetting history | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] just over 30 years ago. Last week, he climbed back into the ring for just a few moments.” If Prem’s advice to and support of The Dictator was a political involvement, then he’s been doing this for decades, even before he became […]




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