Updated: Military manure

3 01 2022

How high?

Members of the royalist elite lie with alacrity. The military has made lying a political art and we imagine there are courses on it at the military academy.

A recent example is provided in a Bangkok Post report citing Army boss Gen Narongphan Jitkaewtae. He’s responded to Democrat Party complaints “of soldiers interfering in the … Party’s preparations for a by-election in Chumphon…”.

Democrat spokesman Ramet Rattanachaweng alleged “that a senior-ranking army officer with the alias ‘Seh Tor’ has led a team of about 100 soldiers in Constituency 1 in Chumphon where a by-election has been called.”

An army deputy spokeswoman Col Sirichan stated that:

If any army personnel were involved, they will face the music for violating disciplinary rules and the law,  said, adding that the army is a state agency which must strictly remain neutral in elections.

Gen Narongphan

What a pile of buffalo manure. The army not only interferes in elections – most recently supporting the party of the military junta and its friends in 2019 – but also throws out elected governments.

As a measure of how little chance there is of an “investigation,” Gen Narongphan assigned “4th Army Region commander Lt Gen Kriangkrai Srilak to gather the facts as a matter of urgency.” The 4th Army is in control of the region.

Ramet said: “If the allegation has grounds, the army chief must order the soldiers to leave the constituency at once.” He added: “Maintaining neutrality in elections is crucial. If state powers are exerted to favour a particular candidate or party, the system of democracy is no longer functioning…”.

We guess the Democrat Party should know, having benefited several times from army interference in their favor.

Update: Even more quickly than usual, the “investigation” is over. Within hours, the “army has found no grounds to the Democrat Party’s claims that soldiers are trying to interfere in its preparations for a by-election in Chumphon…”.

Lt Gen Kriangkrai, who headed the so-called probe – cover ip is probably a better description – said “the probe had concluded there was no basis to the claims.” He’s more or less saying that the Democrat Party is lying. Moreover, he chastised the Party: “As far as he was aware, the party has not investigated the issue…”. And, he repeated his boss’s blarney: “I’ve issued a swift order that no soldiers under my supervision must interfere in politics. They must remain neutral…”. One wonders why he has to order this if there’s been no interference.

Suitably cajoled, “Ramet thanked the army chief for investigating the complaint.” Yes, sure…. And, he added: “The Democrats would remain on alert for any electoral malpractice in local areas and will campaign hard in Constituency 1 on behalf of their candidate.”

The army wins again. It is so far above the law that it can’t be seen.



One response

13 01 2022
Military voters | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] The Bangkok Post recently reported more on the role of the military in elections. […]

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