Election (probably) delayed I

3 01 2019

Talk of further election delays has been going on since the military junta “confirmed” 24 February. When the junta began saying that it was the Election Commission’s job to set the date, it began to sound like a delay was being arranged.

On the day the Royal Gazette failed to publish the promised royal decree on the elections, EC Secretary General Jarungwit Pumma said: “There is currently no royal decree for the election but this does not mean the election date will be postponed.”

The same day, The Dictator, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha “insisted that the road map for national elections remain unaltered…”. He said:

Things remain unchanged…. The Election Commission [EC] will determined the election date. It’s up to them. But considering the current timetable, the election will take place before [the coronation ceremony].

He dismissed ultra-royalist demands that the election be postponed for the coronation. Notorious rightists Arthit Ourairat and Chulcherm Yugala had demanded “the long-awaited general elections should be held after the coronation ceremony.”

Significantly (maybe), Gen Prayuth also declared that “he has never spoken about a delay.”

So what happened? Today, the junta had Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam meet with the demonstrably puppet EC “to discuss the possibility of delaying the general election from February 24 so that it would not affect the coronation ceremony set for early May.”

Wissanu stated that “In case the election is delayed from February, the new date will be issued according to the Constitution, meaning not later than May 9…”.

The only problem with that is the timetable he set out for the EC more or less delays an “election” until late May at the earliest. That would be in breach of the constitution, but Article 44 can “fix” that.

Prayuth hadn’t ever spoken of a delay. So who did? Who must the junta obey? Or is it that the junta has wanted to delay because it needs more time to ensure the desired outcome? Or is it just going to delay elections for a very long time? We don’t know, but there are plenty of guesses.



%d bloggers like this: