The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, self-appointed premier of Thailand, leader of the military coup that overthrew an elected government and former commander of troops that shot down red shirt demonstrators in 2010, claims, at The Nation that he is “building democracy for the country…”.
Speaking at the opening ceremony for an essay contest that promotes his personal and fascist “Twelve Core Values” as being the values of the entire nation, and without a hint of irony, The Dictator declared: “… I understand democratic means and we will not fail democracy. We will take care of the people well and equally…”.
What kind of “democracy”? He says it won’t be “100 per cent like democracy in Western countries,” and we can assume that his democracy is Thai-style democracy, the redoubt of past authoritarian leaders in the country since the late 1950s. It is the democracy you have in Thailand when you are not having democracy. As he puts it, “We have to put Thai elements into the democracy, but it will not contradict international values…”.
Given that Prayuth does not understand “international values” and flouts them on a daily basis, we can dismiss his claims to being an architect of anything other than fascist Thailand.
When he claims that “[p]eople would be able to access justice equally and fairly” and then has to beseech people to “be confident in the existing justice system,” you know the “justice” system is crippled by lese majeste, by royalist bias, by military impunity and by martial law.
When he demands that political conflicts be reduced and demands that the media not ask questions about politics and political conflict, you know that Prayuth’s democracy is not real democracy.
When he says, “So, next time, please elect a good government into power,” he is repeating his demand of the electorate in 2011, when he went on national television to demand a vote for the pro-military and royalist Democrat Party. You know the 2014 coup had much to do with Prayuth’s anger that the electorate spurned him and the (anti)Democrat Party.