Military voters

13 01 2022

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

After recent complaints and a “nothing to see here” response, it is revealing when Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha has decided to “instruct” the “armed forces to remain politically neutral in the upcoming by-elections in Bangkok, Chumphon and Songkhla and support the polls.”

From DW

Perhaps this reflects the complaint having been made by a coalition party, fighting with the military’s party. Military involvement in skewing elections is “tradition.”

Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich, spokesman for the Defence Ministry, “said … the armed forces will support the elections by allowing candidates, upon request, to campaign for votes in the military’s residential communities.” That doesn’t stop commanders ordering their soldiers to vote for particular candidates and parties.

Following the Democrat Party’s complaint, “Sorawong Thienthong, deputy leader of the main opposition Pheu Thai Party, said he received a report that a certain high-ranking official has told residents in a military residential community to vote for the candidate of one particular party in Bangkok’s Constituency 9 by-election in Laksi district and part of the adjacent Chatuchak district.” Another Thienthong is standing for Puea Thai.

It’s all so 1980s/90s.


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