“Election” date unknown I

9 01 2019

There’s very heavy blocking going on in Thailand at present, suggesting that the confusion over the “election” is raising angst within the junta and its puppet agencies.

The Nation points out the all too obvious: the “much-anticipated Royal Decree on the election, which will allow the Election Commission to fix the poll date, has yet to be issued…”.  It was promised by the junta for 2 January. So far, nothing.

The junta has been mumbling about the need not to interfere with the king’s coronation, which was suddenly announced on 1 January.

What is The Dictator’s position on delaying his “election”? When asked, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha said “he did not know when it [royal decree] would be published in the Royal Gazette.” He added: “It will be when it will be…. I haven’t said anything about a delay or no delay.” He has no idea. He’s stuck between a rock and the palace.

He then got irritated, saying: “All the countries I have visited, they understand [about coronation]. So, what do you want from me?” We weren’t aware that he had visited any countries since 1 January. Or is it that he already told foreign leaders about a poll delay before he told the Thai people? We doubt this and don’t think Gen Prayuth knows what’s going on in the palace or, if he does, he’s not going to say anything.

While the Deputy Dictator and serial luxury watch “borrower” Gen Prawit Wongsuwan “guaranteed” that his junta’s “election” would be held by 9 May, he hid the cause of the delay – lack of a royal decree – Gen Prawit hid behind the EC: “He … said that the authority to set the poll date rests with the EC.”

Catch-22: EC can’t do anything until there’s a royal decree. Why there is no royal decree? It seems that neo-feudal Thailand prevents the question and cannot allow an answer, at least in public.

The EC is at least maintaining a public image of pressuring for a royal decree to be issued. EC president Ittiporn Boonpracong made the position clear: “We don’t have any election date model and we’re waiting for the royal decree…”. No royal decree, no election date, and no election.

And around and around we go.