On stealing the election VI

7 04 2019

In an earlier post in this series, we were naive in commenting on the allocation of partly list seats. It seems that the Election Commission’s initial bumbling on this was something of a smokescreen to allow for the junta-approved “method” of allocating seats to be used.

The EC has finally “revealed” that it is going to “calculate MP-seat allocation based on a formula that will allow more than 25 parties to be present in the Lower House.”

That “method” is to the advantage of the junta and allows its Palang Pracharath Party to concoct a coalition and drags seats away from anti-junta parties.

The EC’s “public relations team” – apparently it has one –  “revealed” that “the commissioners will stick to the formula proposed to them by the now-defunct charter drafting team.” They claim that this “formula was based on stipulations in the Constitution and the MP election laws…”. But they would claim that, wouldn’t they.

The PR persons reckoned this was  “to give importance to every vote…”. So much importance that a bunch of at least 25 micro-parties that can be easily bought will get one seat based on as little as 30,000 votes, perhaps even less.

The authorities on this scam are some members of the junta’s hand-picked Constitution Drafting Committee.

While the EC rigs the election result for the election rigging junta and its buddies, it is now using law suits to silence critics. Reports mention Nutta Mahattana and

Meanwhile, despite fierce criticism against its questionable performance, the EC has gone ahead and filed defamation lawsuits against political activist Nuttaa Mahuttana and Sirote Klampaiboon but it seems there may be up to a dozen others who are receiving the EC’s attention.

It seems pretty clear that the junta is successfully stealing its own “election.”We can expect that after the king’s coronation that a Palang Pracharath coalition will be announced. After that look for junta ministers simply continuing their current jobs.

Nothing much will have changed. The election will have been successfully rigged and stolen, pretty much in broad daylight. And, yet again, the people’s voice will have been ignored. Are we too pessimistic?





Fixing the rules

29 10 2014

The Nation reports on the response to the selection by the puppet National Reform Council’s selection of 20 of its own to be members of the puppet Constitution Drafting Committee that will fix the rules of politics for Thailand. By “fix,” we mean in the sense of the sporting use of the term, where a game or match is played to a completely or partially pre-determined result.

One comment is from retired “academic” and yellow shirt activist Surichai Wankaew, said the 20 NRC members chosen “would help improve the political situation as they had been selected for their neutral stance towards the ongoing political conflict.”

Compare that bit of propaganda with Sirote Klampaiboon, who has previously been identified as “independent” or “red shirt,” who says that the newly chosen members of the CDC “can be categorised in four groups: former military generals, former members of the Group of 40 [the mainly unelected former senators], academics from King Prajadhipok’s Institute and NGOs who have close ties with the 2006 coup-makers.”

Given that preponderance of yellow-shirted, royalist puppets, Sirote is correct to question the “credibility of the newly selected CDC members…”.





Listen to them

31 10 2013

Pravit Rojanaphruk’s little story in The Nation on red shirt opposition to the ill-conceived amnesty bill deserves to be read and considered, especially by those at the top of the Puea Thai Party government. All that follows until the final paragraph is snipped from Pravit’s article:

Suthachai Yimprasert

Suthachai

The move is being loudly opposed by activists and intellectuals in the red-shirt camp, such as Thammasat University historian Somsak Jeamteerasakul, political scientist Sirote Klampaiboon, Chulalongkorn University historian Suthachai Yimprasert and former Thammasat University rector Charnvit Kasetsiri to name a few.

Separately, Red Sunday group leader Sombat Boonngam-anong … is calling on more red-shirt supporters to … make their voices heard.

… Somsak said the loss of nearly 100 lives in 2010 would be “in vain” if the blanket amnesty bill were pushed through.

Sombat

Sombat

Red-shirt lese majeste detainee Somyos Prueksakasemsuk … said both the Pheu Thai Party and Thaksin Shinawatra would be making “a foolish move”, akin to “digging one’s own grave”, if they continued pushing for the bill.

Jakrapob

Jakrapob

Jakrapob Penkair, a former Thaksin aide and ex-PM’s Office Minister who is living overseas to evade lese majeste charges [PPT understood the charges had been dropped??] , earlier this week posted a message on Facebook calling on the ruling party not to betray those who struggled for democracy and the future generation.

Meanwhile, Thaksin’s lawyer, Robert Amsterdam, who enjoys a large following on Twitter, tweeted on Monday: “The proposed blanket amnesty provides absolutely no benefit… I am deeply saddened by Pheu Thai’s position.”

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Red-shirt leader and MP Weng Tojirakarn said yesterday that three red-shirt MPs would abstain from voting in the second reading of the amnesty bill. He explained that this abstention was necessary for two reasons: to not confuse people about the red’s stance on the issue and to not lend support to the opposition Democrat Party.

Somyos

Somyos

These people are not engaged in a war to bring down the government and nor are they disgruntled opponents. Many have given much to the red shirt cause and the fight for democracy. We count four who have gone to prison for the red shirt cause and one living in exile amongst this group of people sympathetic to red shirts.

Listen to them!





Further updated: A disaster plan

21 10 2011

Perhaps related to PPT’s previous post, it is now reported in The Nation that:

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday issued a disaster warning for Bangkok, consolidating power for flood control and drainage.

Yingluck invoked the 2007 Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Act to oversee flood control in lieu of declaring a state of emergency.

Under her instructions, the topmost priority for flood control is to speed up the drainage of run-off into the sea via East Bangkok.

The government is to coordinate with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to operate all sluice gates in the capital in order to rein in the water flow.

The armed forces would be in charge of maintaining and defending the royal-initiated dykes and levees. The military would also be responsible for protecting key installations, including the Grand Palace, Siriraj Hospital, the tap water system, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports.

The Transport Ministry would take charge of ensuring road traffic in the capital. Relevant agencies would map out plans for evacuation and setting up shelters.

The Bangkok Post’s account of the declaration is here.

The role of the military is highlighted by PPT to give the gist of how things royal skew even disaster operations. While on the military, it is interesting to note that Army boss Prayuth Chan-ocha is reported as saying: “Some 40,000 troops have been deployed to help flood victims but the number of troops was still inadequate to help flood victims in all areas.” A couple of days ago we saw a 20,000 figure and thought this a misprint or a mistake by a reporter. Wasn’t it Prayuth who, just a week ago, was reported to have claimed that:

“There are not enough soldiers. People must help. If you need help from soldiers, please tell the government to increase the number of soldiers,” Gen Prayuth said. He said there were only 250,000 soldiers in Thailand, but actually the country needed 450,000 soldiers to fullfil all its tasks.

Is he really saying that he can only mobilize 40,000 out of 250,000? Is Prayuth holding back or is there something missing in the equation? Are we misreading this and other troops are deployed on other flood-related activities?

Different sources have different accounts of the size of the Army and the armed forces. Total active (305,860) and reserve forces for the whole Thai armed services is about 550,000 according to Wikipedia and GlobalFirePower.com.

Update 1: Pravit Rojanaphruk has a story at Prachatai that seems to link to PPT’s comments on the Army. Essentially, the story is that a red shirt radio station has raised the question of whether the Army is using the floods to undermine the Yingluck government. Pravit cites two political scientists as refuting the claim. Sirote Klampaiboon, a Mahidol University political scientist, says: “It makes no sense…”.  He claimed that

such theories- including one held by yellow shirts that the government intentionally neglected the alleged advice of His Majesty the King to allow water from dams to be released much earlier – are simply not plausible. The academic said people must accept that the amount of rainfall this year was unprecedented. Even though he feels the government isn’t doing a good job at protecting some areas from the flood, the theories should still be regarded as “cheap conspiracies.”

Oddly, he doesn’t say why they are implausible. Accepting there is a lot of rain does not make either claim implausible. Also cited is:

Kasetsart University red-shirt political scientist Kenkij Kitirianglarp … saying it’s most unlikely that anyone, be it the Army or the government, would want to see such damage incurred on the Kingdom. Kenkij said the blame game should stop as it is clear Thailand lacked an integrated system to deal with flooding and that’s not a problem of just this administration.

Kengkij is right on the latter and this kind of points at the flaws in the the yellow shirt claim. But what of the claim that no one would want to inflict so much damage on Thailand for political purpose? Frankly, after the events of recent years, we find that claim barely plausible. PPT thinks we are still at square one on this issue.

Readers might find this series of flood pictures of interest.

Update 2: On the Army, there is further information available in this Bangkok Post story. This report has 40,000 soldiers in Bangkok. The report also states: “Meanwhile, the army has been working to prevent flooding at Chitralada Palace and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has ordered the Defence Ministry to provide 24-hour protection for important sites, Defence Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa said. He was speaking after a meeting of the Flood Relief Operations Command at Don Mueang airport yesterday. Gen Yutthasak said these places include the palaces, Government House, parliament and all power plants.”








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