Welcome to the past

11 01 2022

A couple of days ago, Thai Newsroom had a story that propelled PPT back to an era when elections were about political games known as Thai-style Democracy. Then, policies and local people counted for not much at all. In large part, the 2014 military coup and the 2017 constitution was about winding back to those times.

Former six-time Democrat Party MP for Chumphon Sirisak Onlamai is campaigning in the by-election in Chumphon’s Constituency 1 for Palang Pracharath’s . Sirisak has dumped the Democrat Party and “defected” to the regime’s party. That kind of party horsetrading was common back then, funded by huge corruption.

The malleable Sirisak is complaining that some other party is manipulating village healthcare volunteers as vote canvassers. Sirisak says they “have been quietly helping the unnamed candidate … despite the fact they are not legally allowed to do so in the first place. In the 2019 election it was Palang Pracharath that was using state and military to gather votes.

Sirisak reckons “some of these village-based healthcare volunteers had been coaxed and cajoled into unlawfully helping the candidate in question by recommending villagers that they should vote for him and others had taken kickbacks from his head canvassers.”

Vote buying was a mantra for anti-Thaksin groups, although in recent years the big vote buyers are likely to have been Palang Pracharath and Bhum Jai Thai.

Sirisak says the volunteers have been “pitifully turned into tools to serve such selfish desires of the rogue candidate…” and “called on the authorities in charge of the village-based healthcare volunteers to take a close look at the allegedly unbecoming situation currently prevalent throughout the constituency.”

Welcome to the past.


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