Prayuth and the tangles of deception

26 02 2019

In seeking to rig its “election,” both The Dictator and the military junta seem to have tied themselves in some unexpected knots. Self-appointed prime minister-military dictator-coup leader-junta leader Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha is seemingly stuck between his puppet Election Commission and the junta’s Palang Pracharat Party.

Just a few days ago, we posted on a report that the EC had declared that there “is no law barring Prime Minister [Gen] Prayut Chan-o-cha, as the PM candidate for Phalang Pracharat Party, from joining the electoral debate…”.

But is that a “decision” or not?

Now, EC chairman Ittiporn Boonpracong has said his commission “had not yet received a letter from the PPRP [Palang Pracharath] seeking clarification over whether Gen Prayut can join policy debates as the party’s prime ministerial candidate.” He said that the EC will only “consider the issue if and when the letter reaches the commission…”.

This is curious for a couple of reasons. First, the EC was earlier reported as making a determination. Second, shouldn’t the EC be proactive in matters related to the election it is managing?

Startingly, Ittiporn also said that the “EC will consider whether Gen Prayut, as the chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) is qualified as a candidate for prime minister under the law on the election of MPs and the constitution.”

This time it does have a petition, some 10-11 days ago. Surely, a decision could have been made in that time. Isn’t this kind of important?

Much of this confusion is caused by the fact that The Dictator prefers to cheat in his election by controlling his junta and its puppet organizations while seeking to extend his own prime ministerial position.

This charade of what the Bangkok Post calls the need for The Dictator’s “neutrality” is further tangled by Gen Prayuth appearing in all the Palang Pracharath election campaigning as an image. Fore example, in addition to campaign posters, his party has now released a 157-page book “detailing his [Prayuth’s] achievements and touting him as a candidate fit to lead the country after the election.”

Party leader and recent junta minister Uttama Savanayana explained that “the book was written for the party’s MP candidates and their campaign staff so they have all the relevant information about their party’s prime ministerial candidate.” Presumably some of them would have had difficulty reciting the “correct” information regarding The Dictator.

Apparently, the propagandists – we assume in the Army and junta who authored Pracharath Sang Chart – have also listed “achievements before he came to power in May 2014.” That probably includes his record of commanding murderous troops in 2010 as they shot down red shirts.

Then Uttama got into serious lying when he “stressed that the book is not intended as election campaigning material, and as such, won’t be distributed to the general public.” He then added that the cost of producing the books – about a million baht – “was already included in the list of election campaign expenses…”. Yes, that’s right, the book is not for campaigning, but is claimed and reported as a campaign expense.

And, while not for campaigning, Uttama declared that Prayuth’s party “ordered a total of 10,000 copies.” That’s a lot of distribution for not campaigning.

What a bunch of dolts. They are campaigning so badly that even more cheating may be the only way the party could win most votes in the lower house, even with all the cheating and rigging that has already gone on.