Parliament homeless and broke

19 04 2019

The junta held its “election,” but didn’t manufacture the result it wanted. That means all kinds of opaque wheeling, dealing and cheating, involving the Election Commission, Constitutional Court and a gaggle of small parties.

Of course, as far as luring and maintaining the fungible loyalty of small parties is not limited to the junta and Palang Pracharath. Some of this tinkering and bidding is probably behind the odd sight of New Economics Party MP candidates seeking to have their own party dissolved. This party is one of those that can swing the balance in the lower house.

We might think that all of this maneuvering is to come up with a majority coalition government before the convening a parliament shortly after official 95% results are confirmed on 9 May.

As Khaosod reports, the convening of parliament is problematic, and not just because of the confused election and its results. This is because parliament is homeless and broke.

As regular readers will know, a grasping king has “taken back” the land that housed parliament since 1974. He’s also retaken the building and land that was the home of parliament from 1932 to 1974.

No one has revealed what the king is doing with all the land he has appropriated.

Because the new parliament building has not been completed, for at least six months, parliament “will have to hold sessions in an auditorium north of Bangkok.”

But even that depends on the Parliament, as an administrative unit, getting some funds to rent the TOT auditorium.

As the report explains, parliament needs to “ask the cabinet for emergency funds to rent the auditorium because the parliament is currently running low on cash. Renting the auditorium, owned by telecom firm TOT, will cost taxpayers about 11 million baht each month.” At present, Parliament is down to its last 19  million baht.

In addition the TOT auditorium needs modifications to accommodate all parliamentarians.

This predicament is Thailand in miniature. That parliament is homeless and broke shows that parliament doesn’t matter much and the king is paramount. (There’s plenty of money for taxpayer funding of elaborate royal events including coronation.)


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18 05 2019
Hippo manure | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Of course, the zoo isn’t the only place inconvenienced and homeless because of the king’s land acquisitions. Several universities were ditched, the Red Cross lost a fair ground, and most symbolic of all, the parliament has nowhere to meet. […]

18 05 2019
Hippo manure | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Of course, the zoo isn’t the only place inconvenienced and homeless because of the king’s land acquisitions. Several universities were ditched, the Red Cross lost a fair ground, and most symbolic of all, the parliament has nowhere to meet. […]

9 06 2019
Does parliament matter? | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] regime, trying to excavate a politics that was meant to have been buried in 1932, is the homelessness of parliament. The previous parliament house has been acquired by King Vajiralongkorn before the new parliament […]




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