Limiting campaigning

23 01 2019

Even before the junta’s election date was announced, the military dictatorship and the Election Commission joined in issuing threats to parties campaigning for votes.

Both the Bangkok Post and The Nation reported a rant by The Dictator and on the intervention by the EC.

Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha continued the pantomime regarding his desperate desire to continue as Thailand’s dictator following the “election.”

he declared he would only “join a hard-working and selfless party…” and claimed to be awaiting an “invitation” to join such a party:

If I need to continue my work, I’ll need to be with some party…. However, that party has to be hardworking and dedicated and not trying to undo everything built and achieved [in the past four years].

He was clear that devil parties must be supported:

If I decide to stay on [in politics] to carry on the work, I will need to subscribe to a party which is dedicated, truly selfless and determined to change the country for the better, not one which seeks to undo everything this government has started. That would be a waste of time….

Responding to “criticism over some Cabinet members becoming members of the pro-junta Phalang Pracharat Party and refusing to give up their current posts,” The Dictator defended the devil party and his men with pathetic lies:

Prayut asked critics not to view as unfair the ministers’ meetings with voters during the mobile Cabinet sessions in different provinces in what is perceived as an attempt to steal a march over other politicians contesting in the upcoming election. The government only works for the public interest….

This defense of the junta’s cheating, The Dictator also warned other parties that the should not criticize his regime: “Please don’t say that the government didn’t do anything…”.

While his regime has been doling out billions in election-focussed “policy corruption” and policy plagiarism, The Dictator “warned politicians to consider whether the policies they were campaigning on were feasible, because of the strict rules and regulations on the budget and expenditure.”

The Dictator “revealed” that “he has received over 200 complaints about how some parties are preparing for the poll…”. He declared that parties would be investigated.

He further declared that any post-election government had to work for the junta’s legacy:

Future governments are free to improve on these policies and laws where needed but they should not abolish them…. The laws include those on budget expenditure and anti-corruption measures related to rice schemes.

While blaming “politicians” for the “problems” of the past, Gen Prayuth demanded that the junta’s policies and programs “should be carried on by the next administration.” His example the junta’s “flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme…. Gen Prayut said political parties should not try to woo voters who are against the regime by pledging to scrap the project.”

The Bangkok Post observes that the Election Commission “effectively joined in, issuing a statement claiming to outline what it believes parties are allowed and prohibited.” The statement, signed by EC secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma, set exceptionally high hurdles for parties in promoting election promises.

Palang Pracharath has already been disregarding such limits. But that’s not a shock as Jurungvith had earlier admitted that the EC was not investigating the main devil party. It seems a law unto itself. Well, unto the junta.


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