Micromanaging election rules for the junta

31 01 2019

While big rigging and big cheating by the junta has gone on for years and while the highest profile candidates for the junta’s Palang Pracharath Party continue to occupy high office, the Election Commission is micromanaging campaigning. Of course, this benefits the junta’s devil party.

The most recent “rules” are about campaign posters. In essence, the EC is seeking to reduce the amount of information voters can get.

Ubiquitous in the past, campaign posters are now severely limited in number, size and in location.

The number of posters for each candidate must not exceed two times the number of polling stations in his/her constituency. The maximum size is 130cm x 245cm…. Each party can put up as many large posters as the number of polling stations in each constituency.

The rules seem to be largely defined for big cities, but apply nationally:

The posters may be put up in sois but not at the mouths, power poles or roadside trees. Prohibited places are traffic lanes, traffic islands, pedestrian bridges, the fences and walls of official buildings, bus stops, telephone booths, postboxes, police booths, public gardens, all roads surrounding palaces, the Royal Plaza and Ratchadamnoen Avenue in Bangkok.

Violations can result in charges and, we suppose, red carding.

With the changes to ballots, the rise of dozens of new parties and small parties, heavy restrictions on media campaigning and a short campaign, the EC seems determined to prevent voters from getting information about candidates, parties and policies.

Keeping voters in an information-limited campaign is meant to benefit the junta’s parties.


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