The EU election challenge

9 11 2018

It was less than a week ago that PPT posted on Foreign Minister and junta slitherer Don Pramudwinai rejecting suggestions that the junta’s rigged election could be observed by foreigners.

We considered Don’s rejection of foreign election observers as confirming the military junta’s willingness to engage in massive election fraud.

Don has now rejected foreign election observers several times. Only a day after his latest rejection, it becomes clear why he’s been so agitated.

The Election Commission has “revealed that the European Union has proposed to send an army of observers to monitor the polling expected in February next year.” The EC said the “EU wants to send as many as 200-400 observers to monitor the election nation-wide.”

As the EC said, such a “huge number of poll observers proposed by EU is unprecedented…”.

The EC “has yet to formally consider the request,” but they seem to have consulted their political masters in the junta and Don is fretting.

Of course, having foreign observers is nothing new. Even the EC calls it “a normal practice.”

Planning massive electoral fraud

3 11 2018

In a bizarre defense of lese majeste and the military dictatorship, Foreign Minister and junta slitherer Don Pramudwinai has not only defended the feudal lese majeste law, but rejected the idea that the junta’s rigged election could be observed by foreigners.

We have posted a couple of times that the junta seems willing to engaged not just in election rigging but perhaps to engage in old-fashioned election theft, including ballot box stuffing.

Don’s rejection of foreign election observers as “inauspicious” seems to us to confirm the junta’s willingness for massive election cheating.

The foreign minister bleated that having such independent observers would be an affront to Thailand’s “dignity.” He means the junta’s “face.” He then went further.

Claiming independent election observers are unnecessary, Don stated that Thailand “is not a problematic country…”. While the junta seized power through an illegal coup, Don defended this claiming what we term Thai-style authoritarianism:

The current government came from a coup but is different from other coups in the world, because we don’t forbid or remove rights excessively to the point where it affects the majority….

In other words, a regime that has railed against the “majoritarianism” of electoral politics now defends repression of political “minorities.”

Don then claimed that “elections” are an “internal affair” and said he favored “local observers…”. We know that the regime has already “trained” and indoctrinated thousands of “local observers” who will work for the military regime.

The foreign minister went on and on in defending his military superiors, defending their laws that ban on political assembly. He then got caught in his own deceptions and lies, saying that such restrictions were not restrictions: “there had been no restrictions in expressing views over the past four years.”

The only conclusion to be drawn from such maniacal contradictions is that the military junta is considering massive electoral fraud.

Lese majeste ≠ democracy

3 11 2018

In a rather bizarre junta “election” story, which we will post on separately, Foreign Minister and junta lover Don Pramudwinai defends the lese majeste law.

We know that all regimes have defended this odious law. In the past, defenses have ranged from declaring lese majeste a part of Thailand’s cultural bedrock, comparing it with defamation laws, claiming it as essential for political stability, asserting that lots of countries have such a law, to claims about Thailand’s “uniqueness.”

Anti-democrat Don, however, invents a new and preposterous story. He claims that the draconian lese majeste law has popular support, seemingly making it a “democratic” law:

Some ambassadors discussed with me and raised the lese majeste law issue, and asked why there exists such a law which limits free expression. I asked whether their countries have no specific measures and said Thais are well aware of the lese majeste law…. If you count the number of people who oppose it, you will discover that it’s just a handful. So how can it be a problem when a majority does not see it as a problem?

This is nonsensical but, then, Don is a ridiculous propagandist for the military dictatorship and a feudal monarchy.

The fact is that as Thailand’s politics became more vigorous and divided following the 2006 military coup, arrests and imprisoning through accusations of lese majeste and acts against “national security” became increasingly common, reaching a crescendo under the military Junta that seized power in 2014 and continues to reule and oppress.

Lese majeste, sedition and the Computer Crimes Act are used by Thailand’s royalist regimes to denounce political opponents and protect privileges and positions.

Progress to free and fair elections?

21 06 2018

The UK’s Foreign Office has let down its prime minister badly. Based on Theresa May’s comments to The Dictator, we assume the Foreign Office provided incorrect briefing information.

As the self-styled buffoonish British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met with Thailand’s Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai (who is under a corruption cloud), May talked with the military dictator Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, who seized power by a coup.

As bad as it appears for May to shake hands with such a thug, May blundered. Her spokesman stated:

The Prime Minister [May] urged continued progress towards free and open elections in Thailand in line with international standards, including restrictions on political parties being lifted at an early stage….

Such a statement is bizarre. “Continued progress” suggests there has been movement to “free and fair elections.” There has been no such movement. Worse, there can be no free and fair election under the rules established by the junta. It is simply impossible.

The comment on lifting “restrictions” on political parties is equally disturbing. “Restrictions” are political repression, bans and the crushing of parties as the junta prepares for its own “elections” to result in its own parties running the country, with The Dictator still in charge. And, what is “early”? It’s been more than 4 years already.

Either Boris has lobotomized his Foreign Office, May bungled or its another example of Conservative desperation as Brexit approaches meaning trade with anyone will be sanctioned.

Meanwhile, The Dictator can be the Cheshire cat and continue to rig his “election” and expect the West to accept it.

On the EC and an “election”

6 06 2018

Don Pramudwinai works for the military junta. He’s the Minister of Foreign Affairs hired to give the military dictatorship a civilian face in its international dealings. He’s one of the few civilians in the junta’s cabinet.

He got his position because he has been important in converting the Ministry into a nest of anti-democrats clad in yellow. He’s also been defined by anti-democrats as one of the “good” people.

So it was something of a surprise when the Election Commission decided he may have breached rules in the junta’s 2017 Constitution

But, as reported by the Bangkok Post, the junta says this “good” minister “will not yet have to give up his post despite the ongoing controversy surrounding his wife’s shareholdings.” Not unless the Constitutional Court decides to stand him down.

Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha has declared he’s not going to reshuffle his cabinet.

The irony of this case is that a so-called good person is caught in rules the junta’s puppets designed to limit elected politicians in any future civilian government as they schemed on how to destroy the Shinawatra clan.

Another complicating factor is that the complaint came from a Puea Thai Party member. This means that the case comes to be defined as good vs bad people in the eyes of the junta, anti-democrats and the minister himself.

This paradox causes a Bangkok Post editorial to find, as the junta has, in Don’s favor. The Post prefers not to wait for the Constitutional Court. That’s not a particularly smart approach for a newspaper that has supported rule of law and the justice system.

Haughtily, Don has decided he’s done nothing wrong either and seems miffed that he should be accused by people he hates.

This amounts to little more than another sideshow in the political poking of the junta. In addition, it helps the junta by taking attention away from bigger issues: Gen Prawit Wongsuwan’s luxury watches (nothing heard from the National Anti-Corruption Commission on that), election rigging, the extra-judicial murder of Chaiyapoom Pasae, and so on.

Meanwhile, the “election” issue drags on.

The EC says it will “ask” the junta “to lift the ban on political activities if Tuesday’s meeting of the Constitutional Court backs an NCPO order on the political parties law.” It has done that so as everyone knows, there is no junta-imposed legal barrier to lifting its ban.

As an aside, it would have been unheard of for the Constitutional Court to decide against the junta. It could decide against Don, but that’s unlikely. Even if it did, he’s a civilian, so expendable for the military dictatorship.

Lifting the ban won’t change a huge amount the activities of the junta and its minions. It will still spy on and seek to disrupt the political parties it defines as enemies. It will continue to use the massive resources of the state and the military to campaign for a junta-preferred outcome to the rigged election.

Lies and elections

4 02 2018

A junta spokesman has declared that his bosses are “confident the international community will understand the reason behind the postponement of a national election.”

Deputy Government Spokesperson Lt Gen Werachon Sukondhapatipak explained that the junta’s minions are “informing the world community of a possible delay in holding the next election…”.

They won’t be telling the truth.

Rather, The Dictator’s rather daft sounding “explanation” is used, trying to have all and sundry believe that the junta “had nothing to do with the postponement, as the National Legislative Assembly acted on its own to defer the enforcement of the Organic Members of Parliament Act by 90 days, hence resulting in a likely delay in the national poll.”

Now this is the junta’s hand-picked puppet NLA they are talking about. Suggesting that there is any separation of power in Thailand under the military dictatorship is buffalo manure.

Also twisting the truth is the horrid Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai. He “says no countries have inquired about the possible change in the timing of the election.” We guess his emphasis is on “country,” as everyone knows that the European Union Representative exploded.

Pressuring The Dictator

15 01 2018

2018 has begun in great style, with all kinds of people poking the dictators.

The Dictator is about to take another trip this week, this time to Mae Hong Son, saying it is “inspection trip.” Of course, it is more “election” campaigning, fully paid by the taxpayer. He leaves behind more attacks on the junta than we’ve seen for some time.

Without even saying much at all about the Deputy Dictator’s vast luxury watch collection, where even hardened yellow shirts are angry, the junta really wants to get this off the political agenda.

The Bangkok Post reports that red shirts have amped up, perhaps reminding The Dictator of his murderous past, with Nattawut Saikua turning up “at the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on Friday to demand justice for victims of the deadly 2010 crackdown on protesters in 2010.” More than 90 died and thousands were injured.

Even the Democrat Party, which led the government that ordered the 2010 crackdowns, is poking the junta. Watchara Petthong said “he would seek action from the … [NACC] … against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha over what he alleged was malfeasance concerning ministers’ stock holdings.” He nominated foreign minister Don Pramudwinai as breaching rules.

Yellow and red shirts have almost come together in complaining about the junta’s failures, even if their reasons for this are located in different ideological and political locations.

And, political activists are rallying and campaigning against the junta’s efforts to embed its decrees.

This is just the warm up. The junta is going to cop plenty of political heat.