Glacial NACC

27 04 2018

The pattern of “investigations” by the National Anti-Corruption Commission is that political opponents of the military junta tend have judgements made in quick time, while the buddies, allies and members of the military junta proceed at a glacial pace or are quickly dismissed.

An example of glacial “investigation” is that of Deputy Dictator, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, who was caught with more than a score of expensive luxury watches and sundry precious gems. The result, so far, is that the general has declared his case “over” but the NACC claims that its investigations continue – they are now in a fifth month – despite the relative simplicity of the case in investigative terms. Of course, because of conflicts of interest in “investigating” a boss, the cover-up inquiry drags on.

The Bangkok Post reports another case that is slower than a glacier. In recent days, the NACC “has pledged to speed up probes into irregularities in bungled police station construction projects which allegedly involved Suthep Thaugsuban, the former leader of the now-defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) which led a mass street protest against the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.”

Suthep is treated with great respect and some circumspect in the circles of the great and good because he’s a thug but his “work” for the “cause” in bringing down Yingluck is to be rewarded.

Back in April 2015, an NACC subcommittee decided to “charge former deputy prime minister Suthep Thuagsuban of malfeasance in office for arbitrarily changing the method of the bid for the construction of 396 police stations in defiance of a cabinet’s resolution.” If we recall correctly, that subcommittee has begun its work in 2013.

Recall that Yingluck was also accused, “investigated,” and sentenced on a malfeasance claim in May 2014. The case, far more complicated than that involving Suthep, was completed and through the courts by September 2017.

When the NACC subcommittee began the case, it “said that Mr Suthep was fully aware that the National Police Office would have to call bid for the construction of the police stations in each region as proposed by the NPO and endorsed by the cabinet.” Yet in 2009 Suthep “arbitrarily changed the method by holding just one bid for the construction of all the police stations across the country.”

Subsequently, “the company which won the bid was unable to fulfill the contractual commitment to build 396 police stations and eventually abandoned the job.” It was a was a 6.67-billion-baht project.

Three years later, five years after NACC “investigations” began, and nine years after his alleged malfeasance, NACC president Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit says his “agency is in the middle of examining the money trail in the case and the result will be presented to the NACC committee no later than September…”.

Such timelines for the NACC just never seem to mean anything when “investigating” the buddies, allies and members of the military junta.





Stealing an “election” I

16 04 2018

PPT has been posting on the military dictatorship’s efforts to manufacture an “election” victory since the junta and its lackeys in various councils, assemblies and committees began carrying out instructions on how to write the constitution for the military’s benefit and to the broader satisfaction of the royalists and other anti-democrats who supported the 2014 coup. These efforts at rigging the “election” – indeed, the whole political system – are becoming clearer by the day.

The Bangkok Post’s Alan Dawson write on how to steal an election. He writes of the rigging from last week alone:

Fabulous week for election thievery, last week was….

The stealth takeover of 80% of TV broadcasters took our breath away.

Not only does the government come away looking like the altruistic, fair-minded friend of both big business and the 70 million TV watchers but it got public applause for taking billions in taxpayer funds and handing it to digital TV owners claiming poverty. In return, digital TV newsrooms will broadcast what the regime wants, when the regime wants.

Remember when the broadcasters rebelled a few months ago at the “suggestions” by the Minister of Truth on how they should cover an up-country cabinet barnstorming. That won’t happen again.

There are those who don’t, won’t or can’t see the forces at work here, so let’s reduce the project scale.

Then there’s the fixing of supporters in various positions:

… giving the politician and sedition suspect Sakoltee (aka Sakol) Phattiyakul a job at the Bangkok City Hall. A truly hard-core supporter of Suthep Thaugsuban, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee and the coup regime, son of a leading 2006 coup general, Mr Sakoltee showed up two weeks ago to confirm his membership in the Democrat Party. That surprised a lot of people.

A lot more, though, were surprised at his metamorphosis from somewhat aimless anti-red politician to deputy governor of Bangkok. The Section 44-appointed governor, Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang, tossed four assistants under the bus to make way for Mr Sakoltee.

But insiders said the real force behind the lightning transfer was Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, accused of being Kingmaker Apparent of the 2019 election. He has been lining up politicians, political parties and now controls the single most powerful urban office in the country behind the outsider prime minister-to-be.

From inside City Hall, Mr Sakoltee has a unique look at political organising in Bangkok. Democrat Party deputy leader Nipit Intharasombat calls this direct, government interference in running the BMA.

But to calm things down, the Bangkok Post reports that, despite these frantic efforts, the army chief Gen Chalermchai Sitthisart has lied stated that there’s no rigging going on involving his troops. He lied insisted “that the military is not using its resources and personnel to help the government score political points.”

Of course, the Army boss “also serves as secretary-general of the National Council for Peace and Order [the military junta]…”, which means he’s obviously a liar a clear and obvious role for the military in the government. He lied declared “there was nothing political about the army’s campaign to publicise the government’s work in the provinces.”

He lied denied “that the army was mobilising to help Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha gain the upper hand over political rivals as reports once again emerged of a pro-regime political party being formed to back Gen Prayut to return as prime minister in the next election expected [sic.] to be held in February next year.”

Gen Chalermchai babbled that “the army’s campaign is not aimed specifically at publicising the government’s Thai Niyom Yangyuen development programme, but for promoting projects aimed at restoring national unity as well as advertising the army’s activities such as military conscription.”

The army chief disembled: “It is a long-term strategy which I have conceived and I want it to continue over a span of five to 10 years. It is not merely for the sake of the Thai Niyom programme…”. He means the military is working to fully militarize the administration of the country, which is also the junta’s main objective. We know this because, among many other signals, the bellicose general stated that he is dispatching “teams of army personnel responsible for handling civilian affairs …[being] sent to meet local people, listen to their problems, explain what the government [military dictatorship] has done and find ways to improve [sic.] their livelihoods…”.

As we have previously posted, the general states that the military and junta are using the “Internal Security Operations Command …[working] with the army’s 35 military circles nationwide to finalise details regarding budget allocations and action plans that will suit the different natures of the problems facing each particular province…”.

It is all about rigging the “election.”





Many micro-parties = The Dictator

8 04 2018

The “election” strategy that the military dictatorship seems to be favoring revolves around the formation and/or co-opting of as many parties as possible. The strategy seems to be based on a thought that the many parties will come together to support the only likely “outsider.” The use of this term signifies an “election”-shy candidate.

This strategy appears to have driven the push for provisions in the junta’s constitution that allow an outsider and those that encourage micro-parties. All very 1980s.

As the likely micro-parties are formed and register, they are announcing their support (or lack of it) for either Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha or an “outsider” for post-“election” boss of Thailand.

The latest party to do this presented no surprise at all. The Bangkok Post reports that the misnamed “People Reform Party” (it is a party but has nothing to do with reform or people), owned by ultra-yellowist Paiboon Nititawan, “has declared its full support for Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha as an outsider prime minister at its first meeting.”

The party, only “the second allowed by the junta to meet after New Alternative party first met two weeks ago, is the first to openly declare full support for Gen Prayut and announced it would vote in line with appointed senators.” Well, that’s only partly true. Plenty of others have more or less said they’d support him or an “outsider.” Others have been coy while their membership makes it clear who they are supporting.

The junta “allowed it to hold the meeting to decide on the party’s name abbreviation, logo, manifesto, policies and regulations. They also elected Mr Paiboon as party leader.” Given that he established the party and is the only name associated with it, nothing else could be contemplated.

Paiboon said: “Backing Gen Prayut is our secondary policy, which is to support a nonpartisan prime minister. In my view, Gen Prayut has all the qualifications, competence and integrity. Up until now, there has been no corruption scandals involving him or his family members so he’s our best choice…”. No surprise. Paiboon has been supporting Gen Prayuth since before the coup. But Paiboon is also lying. Nepotism has been rife. Ask Gen Preecha Chan-ocha about that.

Just to be clear on how the junta has positions “Paiboon’s party,” Paiboon declared that if “other parties draw enough votes to support someone else as the PM, People Reform would vote along the line of senators…”. Prayuth and the junta appoint the senators.

But that should be unnecessary: “I believe we and other parties can garner more than 125 votes. When combined with the votes from 250 senators, we can throw out any party-list PM candidate proposed by another party…”. The Dictator’s strategy is the clearest it has ever been.

Paiboon even made it crystal clear that his party is not even considering winning more than a few seats: “In any case, while the number of MPs is not our main goal, we predict we would win a satisfactory number of MPs.” By satisfactory he means sufficient to join with other faux parties to get Prayuth’s job for him.

Meanwhile, Paiboon’s buddy and political conservative twin, Suthep Thaugsuban has decided to “back a political party in the upcoming election…”. While this was never in doubt, the Bangkok Post reports that he will support (or establish) “a political party that will serve the people’s needs, not its own.” But it will support Suthep’s reactionary anti-politics.

Like Paiboon, “Suthep had previously stated that he would back Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to resume the premiership after the election.” So the party he supports will have its nose firmly positioned in Prayuth’s … corner.

Prayuth calls his anti-democrat position “political innovation” and like Paiboon reckons that the party he supports will be a “party of the people.” Paiboon and Suthep are the ugly twins in a very ugly political system spawned by anti-democrats, royalists and the military.

The easily forgotten military-backed party Bhum Jai Thai Party has begun re-registering its members. The Dictator will be spoiled for choice. The parties won’t be. They’ll be told who to support. Even so, much fun, games and heartburn seem sure to come.





Abhisit to deal with devil parties

10 03 2018

In an move that was never in doubt, the “leader” of the Democrat Party Abhisit Vejjajiva has confirmed that “his” party “will definitely not be working with its arch-rival Pheu Thai Party in the next government…”.

By explicitly ruling out any alliance with the Puea Thai, Abhisit is implicitly ruling in and alliance with one or more of the pro-military devil parties.

To cement his reputation as an anti-Thaksin anti-democrat, Abhisit “declared” Puea Thai as “unable to detach itself from ‘Thaksinocracy’…”. As the report notes, that’s “a term coined by opponents that refers to a Thaksin-ruled autocracy which breeds conflicts of interest and irregularities in implementing public policies.”

Abhisit said “the Democrat Party has fought against Thaksinocracy for almost 20 years, and so will definitely not be working with Pheu Thai after the next election…”.

Then, to proclaim his anti-democrat leaning to devil parties, he said: “If the [Democrat] party were to join hands with anyone, it would need to do so in the best interest of the country…”.

This is a devil party call because an (always unlikely) coalition with Puea Thai would have been anti-military.

The report notes that Abhisit’s decision to speak now was to appease supporters who were with the anti-democratic People’s Democratic Reform Committee. We have no doubt that the potential for a Suthep Thaugsuban devil party taking members from the Democrat Party was a serious concern for the grandees of the Democrat Party.

As almost always in its long history, the Democrat Party is choosing conservative anti-democracy.





Devil “truth”

6 03 2018

A few days ago, after his brother announced that Suthep Thaugsuban was set to establish a pro-junta charter, Suthep denied it, “insisting that he’s done with parliamentary politics for the rest of his life but remains loyal to the military regime.” At the time he added:

I will not run in election for a Member of Parliament seat. I do want any political office. I will not join any government with anyone. I will not be a prime minister, not a deputy prime minister, not a minister…. I will not even be an executive of any party…. I will not return to politics.

Of course, none of that denied the reports that he’s the driving force behind a pro-junta party being formed by his anti-democrats.

Adding untruths and partial truths, Suthep said the idea for a new political party was his brother’s. Strikingly, he went on to say “he couldn’t say exactly at this stage if he would join it and what role he would take.” So that I will not, I do not was a pile of buffalo manure.

To pile more manure on, he said: “if the ‘people’ clearly announce their intention to form a new party and make it a real party of the people, he will join the movement and support it using his experience of more than 40 years in politics…”.

So he’s being lying. No surprise there. Suthep has 40 years of experience as a political liar, including having lied to his anti-democrat supporters in 2013 about his having ditched parliamentary politics.





Supporting the junta’s political agenda

3 03 2018

New political parties are emerging from the junta’s primeval electoral rules slime.We apologize for all the square brackets and inverted commas that follow, but these are necessary to indicate the contrived nature of politics arranged by the military dictatorship.

According to a Bangkok Post source at the Election Commission, several parties “want their party names to include the words ‘Pracharath’ (people-state partnership) or ‘Thai Niyom’ (Thai-ism) — from the government’s [they mean the junta’s] key [populist-electoral] development schemes which are now becoming popular catchphrases among the people [sic.].”

In other words, following the junta’s lead and its rules, a bunch of parties look like forming to support the junta and its dismal political objective of maintaining “Thai-style democracy” – i.e. no democracy at all – into the future.

These “parties” – really just junta factions and political opportunists – reckon that the junta’s dishing out of populist-electoral cash will have an “impact on voters as there are many who benefit from these projects.” The “parties” also want voters “to believe that the newly-registered parties have the backing of the government…”. Some do and others are hoping that they can suck up the loot that might result from a military-backed coalition government following an “election.”

The EC source particularly pointed to survey “parties” set up with the “clear intention of supporting the National and Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) [the junta]…”. These are the devil or Satan parties.

One is the Pracharath Party “which is speculated to include key figures from the government [junta + a few trusted anti-democrat civilians] and the NCPO [the junta – those civilians]. Speculation is rife that Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatursripitak, who is the head of the government’s economic team, will be the party leader.” Somkid is one of those +/- civilians.

Then there’s the “Muan Maha Pracha Chon Party pushed by Suthep Thaugsuban, former leader of the defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee is also meant to back Prime Minister [Gen] Prayut Chan-o-cha [The Dictator] to return as an outsider prime minister after the general election…”. Recall Suthep’s faux denial but remember his long alliance with the junta and the military coupsters.

Former senator and extreme yellow shirt Paiboon Nititawan is establishing a devil party to be “registered as the People Reform Party and will also support Gen Prayut making a comeback as premier.”

Then there are a bunch of hope-to-be-Satan-parties. These are micro-parties that have a hope of “joining an NCPO-sponsored government after the election.” They are presumably setting up money-laundering arrangements as we write this. One is the “Pheu Chart Thai Party. The group is led by Amphaphan Thanetdejsunthorn, former wife of the late military strongman Gen Sunthorn Kongsompong, who led a coup that seized power from the Chatichai Choonhavan government in 1991.”

Then there’s the New Palang Dhamma Party (NPDP), inaugurated on Thursday. Apparently a self-proclaimed devil party, it seems likely to throw its support to Gen Prayuth “if he bids to become an unelected, outside premier.” The party vows to fight corruption. It isn’t clear how supporting Prayuth and fighting corruption fit together. But, hey, this is the junta’s Thailand.

The real link between the junta and the reconstituted party is anti-Thaksinism:

[Rawee] … played an active role in bringing down two Shinawatra governments. Most recently in 2013 with the People’s Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King as Head of State, or PCAD, aka the People’s Democratic Reform Council. Before that, Rawee was once a member of the former People’s Alliance for Democracy, the Yellowshirt party which played an instrumental role in opposing both Thaksin Shinawatra and Yingluck Shinawatra.

In summary, the formation of a myriad of minor parties supportive of The Dictator is in line with the junta’s script for post-“election” politics.

Yellow shirted “academic” Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, rector of Walailak University, observed “there is nothing new to expect and the next election will not bring any change.” Sombat’s own role in creating this neanderthal political system is not mentioned.





Updated: Devil party

28 02 2018

Back in 1992, following the May massacre of civilian protesters, political parties that were military parties or associated themselves with the military in elections were portrayed in the press as “devil parties” or “Satan parties.” Those parties opposing them were “angel parties.”

It seems Thailand still finds itself in this situation in 2018 and 2019 as the military junta gears up for getting itself and its Satanic allies into power following an “election.”

Suthep and friends

The Bangkok Post reports that anti-democrat leader, former Democrat Party deputy, former deputy prime minister and one of those who ordered the massacre of civilian protesters in 2010, Suthep Thaugsuban is establishing “a political party to support Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha’s bid to regain the premiership after the election, Mr Suthep’s younger brother confirmed Tuesday.”

PPT hadn’t posted on this effort previously as we were waiting for the rumors to be declared fact.

Suthep has said that he will “definitely not be derelict in my duty to the Thai people…”. He does not mean “the people” but rather anti-democrats. His formation of a political party is a second choice option for Suthep would prefer military dictatorship to continue.

Suthep’s support for The Dictator has been fulsome for a very long time. It was Suthep who, shortly after the 2014 coup, bragged that he had “been advising the junta chief on how to unseat the Thaksin regime since 2010…”. He added that “he had discussed with the coup-maker Prayuth … strategies to root out the influence of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies since the 2010 political violence.”

So why wouldn’t Suthep support his murderous buddy now? The new party’s unnamed “founders are gathering members, and hoping to register the new party by the end of next month…”. Suthep’s horns and tail are in evidence.

Update: Oddly, Suthep has contradicted his brother and numerous sources in the Democrat Party, as well as his own teasing comments. At least that is according to Khaosod. It says Suthep “put to rest speculation that he was on the verge of announcing pro-junta a political party, insisting that he’s done with parliamentary politics for the rest of his life but remains loyal to the military regime.” It quotes him: “I will not run in election for a Member of Parliament seat. I do want any political office. I will not join any government with anyone. I will not be a prime minister, not a deputy prime minister, not a minister…. I will not even be an executive of any party.” He added: “For the rest of my life, I will dedicate it to serving the monarchy, the holy religion and the people in any way I can…. I will not return to politics.” Of course, none of that denies reports that he’s the driving force behind a pro-junta party being formed by his anti-democrats.