On Gen Prayuth’s coronation

8 06 2019

We thought it might be useful to provide some links to international media stories on Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha’s long-planned, craftily-manipulated coronation as prime minister.

Joshua Kurlantzick at the Council of Foreign Relations, “The Military Wins Big in Thailand.”

Prayuth’s victory was all but guaranteed. The military and its allies made certain of that by announcing criminal charges against opposition leaders and overseeing an unusual interpretation of electoral laws that helped the pro-military party gain the most seats possible. Prayuth essentially remains in power, with the military firmly behind him, and his unwieldy coalition….

…in parliament, the unified opposition—convinced that the election was stolen from them—will likely work to stymie Prayuth, defeat legislation, and try to investigate the military. With Prayuth facing challenges from parliament, it is not inconceivable that the military could stage another coup and retake total control of politics.

New York Times, “Thailand Junta Leader Named Prime Minister After Contentious Vote.”

The leader of the junta that seized power in Thailand five years ago, Prayuth Chan-ocha, was chosen by Parliament to be prime minister after an election marred by charges of manipulation….

Mr. [Gen] Prayuth, who is not a member of Parliament, chose not to address the joint session. [Opposition nominee] Mr. Thanathorn [Juangroongruangkit] was not allowed to speak before Parliament but delivered a speech outside the chamber.

Reuters, “How Thailand’s coup leader kept power through election.”

When Thailand’s former army chief, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, was confirmed as prime minister by parliament on Wednesday, he completed his transition from coup leader to head of a civilian government under a system that all but guaranteed his victory.

Reuters quotes dopes in what might have once been considered revealing ways but which is simply reflective of the junta’s buffalo manure spread over the past five years:

Prayuth’s Palang Pracharat party bristles at any suggestion the new government it leads is anything but a reflection of the will of the people.

“We already had a democratic election, so you cannot say that this is somehow an extension of his power from before,” party deputy spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said of Prayuth.

“This is an extension of the aim to safeguard the nation, religion and monarchy, rather than an extension of the dictatorial power,” Thanakorn said.

AP, “Thai Parliament votes for coup leader to stay on as PM.”

The military-backed party that nominated Prayuth won the second-highest number of seats in the House of Representatives in a general election in March. But his selection was virtually assured because the prime minister is chosen in a joint vote of the 500-seat House and the 250-seat Senate, whose members were appointed by the junta Prayuth leads.

Michael Montesano writing at Today Online, “As Thai military holds on to power, a 1980 order by former PM Prem looms large.” This is a broader piece, considering Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, the junta-as-“new”-government and the fate of Future Forward, which looks like another popular party targeted for (military) destruction.



%d bloggers like this: