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Set early election date or risk humiliation: Editorial


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Set early election date or risk humiliation

 

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Thailand cannot possibly be in the throes of political campaigning when it assumes the Asean chairmanship

 

The government is being damagingly tardy in setting an exact date for the general election. All uncertainty must be dispelled. 

 

A series of important events are coming up next year along with crucial issues to be addressed while Thailand takes the helm of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. 

 

But the new Election Commission (EC) at the weekend flattened what little hope there was for a specific date by saying the poll could be held “on February 24 at the earliest and by May 5 at the latest”.

 

There had been relief and excitement over a previous EC announcement that it would be able to stage the election on February 24. 

 

On Sunday Ittiporn Boonprakong, the EC chairman, said the polling could theoretically take place that day, only for a follow-up meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, who oversees the government’s legal affairs, to maintain the vagueness – the election might not happen until May.

 

While the EC is mandated to independently set the election date, the timing of this milestone on the much-vaunted “road map” set out by the National Council for Peace and Order, the ruling junta, is in fact left to the junta. And the junta gives every impression of dragging its feet on the matter, for reasons including making sure there’s enough political support in place for Prayut Chan-o-cha to continue serving as prime minister after the election. 

 

If this is the case, it is harmful to national interests. Thailand is about to assume the Asean chairmanship and cannot be undergoing election turmoil at the same time. It will have to host more than 100 meetings at all levels during 2019, including a leaders’ summit that traditionally takes place in March or April. That could be chaotic if Thailand’s politicians are in the throes of campaigning for a spring election. 

 

Crucially, once the election decree is issued with a fixed date, Prayut will be in charge of a caretaker government without the authority to endorse agreements with other Asean nations or even make commitments. It would be in an absurdly impotent position, rendering Thailand’s chairmanship meaningless. 

 

Thailand is a founding member of Asean and played a leading role until political conflict beginning with the 2006 coup undermined its status. When it last held the Asean chairmanship 10 years ago, anti-government protestors succeeded in aborting a major international summit in Pattaya. 

 

A repeat of that humiliation cannot be tolerated. Thus, the election cannot be delayed beyond February 24. If it instead coincided with the spring Asean summit, pressure groups could be counted on to try and discredit the military government, and the protest could get ugly if the Army reacted badly. 

 

We could see the situation lurch out of control and end up in another bloody crackdown. The possibility that people could be hurt or worse in the midst of an international gathering would heavily damage the nation’s integrity and reputation, already stained by recent history. 

 

To avoid all this, we need an election as early as possible, followed by a swift transfer of power to an elected government prepared to carry out the duties of chairing Asean. Too much time has already been squandered, but if the junta sets a specific date now, the timing of the Asean meetings could be adjusted as needed, ensuring value and meaning for the Thai chairmanship.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/opinion/30352757

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-08-23
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"...On Sunday Ittiporn Boonprakong, the EC chairman, said the polling could theoretically take place that day, only for a follow-up meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, who oversees the government’s legal affairs, to maintain the vagueness – the election might not happen until May.

 

While the EC is mandated to independently set the election date, the timing of this milestone on the much-vaunted “road map” set out by the National Council for Peace and Order, the ruling junta, is in fact left to the junta..."

 

The EC is mandated to independently set an election date? It don't look that way to me.

 

What "independent" agency in Thailand is actually "independent"?

 

The much more likely outcome of all this is the Junta banning elections while they are the Chair of ASEAN; they would do this to 'protect' ASEAN and Thailand from the 'inconveniences' of an election campaign, and definitely NOT to prolong their own stay in power.

 

The scale of mendacity from the Junta is beyond belief. 

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, webfact said:

Thus, the election cannot be delayed beyond February 24.

In that case, Prayut should avoid wasting time by holding an election at all, and just announce the results directly.

Then there will be no suspicions of vote rigging, as it will be clear to all.

 

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"If it instead coincided with the spring Asean summit, pressure groups could be counted on to try and discredit the military government, and the protest could get ugly if the Army reacted badly. 

 

We could see the situation lurch out of control and end up in another bloody crackdown."

 

Or, in a now changed universe, crackup.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, gk10002000 said:

If I made millions of dollars I could stand being called humiliating names. 

Yea, but in Thailand the rich and powerful are very much used to having their cake and eating it. 

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Appears it depends on one person that runs everything Mr P himself and it is pretty clear what his intentions are !!!

All convictions against the Shinawatra clan quashed. Pheu Thai given all the help that he can give to win a landslide victory. Thaksin to be elected by the newly formed government as PM. Suthep and Abhisit to be deported to Laos and Sek Loso to be put on trial for defamation.

Sent from my SM-A700FD using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

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12 minutes ago, gk10002000 said:

If I made millions of dollars I could stand being called humiliating names. 

If you made millions of dollars here you wouldn't have to.

 

If you are making millions of dollars the whole machinery of the state stands at your beck and call to prevent you being called humiliating names...

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Some childish bits (as always) in this 'editorial'. The idea that everyone was gripped by  'excitement and relief' over a previous date announcement for the 'election' is pure fantasy land: nobody (with more than one brain cell) took that announcement seriously. People were not little kids - all jumping with glee and running around the playground, saying: 'Whoopee!! The Government have definitely announced the date of the election. We are so excited!!'

 

Also, the article misses the key point (which Samui Bodoh often makes): that if this election is not going to be full, free and fair, then it is better for everyone concerned to boycott the election altogether, rather than have Prayut revel in an assumed and false 'legitimacy'.

 

Of course the ASEAN presidency thing is just one of many that will be used to push the 'election' back again (beyond May). But there will be other, much sadder, events that will be exploited to give a really long delay to the entire bogus charade of an 'election' ...

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7 minutes ago, Eligius said:

Some childish bits (as always) in this 'editorial'. The idea that everyone was gripped by  'excitement and relief' over a previous date announcement for the 'election' is pure fantasy land: nobody (with more than one brain cell) took that announcement seriously. People were not little kids - all jumping with glee and running around the playground, saying: 'Whoopee!! The Government have definitely announced the date of the election. We are so excited!!'

 

Also, the article misses the key point (which Samui Bodoh often makes): that if this election is not going to be full, free and fair, then it is better for everyone concerned to boycott the election altogether, rather than have Prayut revel in an assumed and false 'legitimacy'.

 

Of course the ASEAN presidency thing is just one of many that will be used to push the 'election' back again (beyond May). But there will be other, much sadder, events that will be exploited to give a really long delay to the entire bogus charade of an 'election' ...

Let me push back a bit on my own post above; I think that there has to be an election and while it may be delayed again, it can't be delayed much more.

 

I think we are in a holding pattern at the moment while the Junta evaluates how to disenfranchise the voters of the N and NE (as JAG often notes). I suspect that the Junta is watching closely what is occurring in Cambodia and what the reaction from various international players actually is. It is true that Cambodia and Thailand are not exactly the same, but Thailand has more exposure to the international community than Cambodia and thus needs to take into consideration its view more than her neighbour does. The question is will the International community accept Hun Sen's banning of the opposition party? And, if yes, would the international community accept the Junta banning the 'Reds'? This will be the determining factor as to whether an election is called sooner rather than later. Should Hun Sen get away with it, then I would foresee the Junta rounding up a lot of folks, banning the PTP and then going full steam ahead with a quick, early election with the same rules as the "referendum". If the International community actually does something regarding Cambodia, then I would foresee more delay until the Junta has (much more quietly) tried to rig everything.

 

I truly miss the 'olden days' when the West had the balls to stand for Democracy; in these more modern times, would the West stand against the Junta and an openly rigged election? I don't know and it is sad that I don't know that.

 

Sad sad times for beloved Thailand...

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Samui Bodoh said:

Let me push back a bit on my own post above; I think that there has to be an election and while it may be delayed again, it can't be delayed much more.

 

I think we are in a holding pattern at the moment while the Junta evaluates how to disenfranchise the voters of the N and NE (as JAG often notes). I suspect that the Junta is watching closely what is occurring in Cambodia and what the reaction from various international players actually is. It is true that Cambodia and Thailand are not exactly the same, but Thailand has more exposure to the international community than Cambodia and thus needs to take into consideration its view more than her neighbour does. The question is will the International community accept Hun Sen's banning of the opposition party? And, if yes, would the international community accept the Junta banning the 'Reds'? This will be the determining factor as to whether an election is called sooner rather than later. Should Hun Sen get away with it, then I would foresee the Junta rounding up a lot of folks, banning the PTP and then going full steam ahead with a quick, early election with the same rules as the "referendum". If the International community actually does something regarding Cambodia, then I would foresee more delay until the Junta has (much more quietly) tried to rig everything.

 

I truly miss the 'olden days' when the West had the balls to stand for Democracy; in these more modern times, would the West stand against the Junta and an openly rigged election? I don't know and it is sad that I don't know that.

 

Sad sad times for beloved Thailand...

 

 

There is no need to disenfranchise the voters in the North and North East.One misconception on the part of many is that the actual polling process can be corrupted.Actually it can't these days without great difficulty and there's no need to question the polling result though of course it's useful to have independent foreign monitors.The problem is of course the military backed constitution which ensures that the will of the people is not reflected in the outcome, the constant threat of military intimidation backed up by the Junta's proxies in a Senate of stooges and placemen.The Junta is determined that its coup will not be wasted and we live with that.The election is something of a sideshow.Certainly the (generally) supine and cowardly (mainly Sino Thai) urban middle class are tiring of Prayuth but their selfishness and stupidity haven't changed nor has their interest in goons like Suthep.

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

...it would be able to stage the election on February 24...

Hahaha!  "stage the election" Hahaha!  Truer words were never spoken.  We all know that Fearless Leader P is rigging the upcoming (so-called) election so that no matter who challenges him he's going to win—in a preordained landslide victory of course—to boost his fragile narcissistic ego even further.

 

PS - At almost 4 1/2 years already I'm simply amazed that some disgruntled local hasn't stepped on that <deleted> cockroach yet.  Yep, it boggles the mind.  T.I.T. no?

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10 minutes ago, Jimbo in Thailand said:

Hahaha!  "stage the election" Hahaha!  Truer words were never spoken.  We all know that Fearless Leader P is rigging the upcoming (so-called) election so that no matter who challenges him he's going to win—in a preordained landslide victory of course—to boost his fragile narcissistic ego even further.

 

PS - At almost 4 1/2 years already I'm simply amazed that some disgruntled local hasn't stepped on that <deleted> cockroach yet.  Yep, it boggles the mind.  T.I.T. no?

Yes, Jimbo, it is so funny that these things are put out there in plain sight - right in front of our eyes: 'stage the election' indeed!

 

Actually, I think P. will do what was done with the bogus Constitution 'referendum' (which of course has NEVER been independently verified): claim that around 62 or 63% of the Thais have voted for his gang. That way - he can lay claim to legitimacy and not look too much like a Hun Sen!

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1 hour ago, Samui Bodoh said:

Let me push back a bit on my own post above; I think that there has to be an election and while it may be delayed again, it can't be delayed much more.

 

I think we are in a holding pattern at the moment while the Junta evaluates how to disenfranchise the voters of the N and NE (as JAG often notes). I suspect that the Junta is watching closely what is occurring in Cambodia and what the reaction from various international players actually is.

I suspect there are several options on the table at the moment. Simply not holding an election, using various of the excuses available (ASEAN, sad events, coronation, and of course "disturbance of order", actual, imagined or manufactured remains in play - the big question here remains : do the junta have the ability to control things if the "wheels come off"? I they think they do then the status quo remains. Let's call that "The Burma Option"

42 minutes ago, jayboy said:

There is no need to disenfranchise the voters in the North and North East.One misconception on the part of many is that the actual polling process can be corrupted.Actually it can't these days without great difficulty and there's no need to question the polling result though of course it's useful to have independent foreign monitors.

Disenfranchisement goes beyond simply rigging the results, I agree that is today almost impossible. However, more subtly, removing the main opposition party, and leaving it's likely supporters (possibly a majority of the electorate) with a fractured field of smaller parties to spread their votes over (if they bother) is as effective. The Cambodia Option?

 

Both options require the junta to make a decision, both will result in internal opposition, whether criticism and/or protest. Both will result in international opposition, as SB observes, to a degree dependant on reaction to Hun Sen's efforts. I suspect that the junta can't decide on the first, and simply don't understand the second.

 

One of the hallmarks of the trained military mind is supposed to be an ability to carry out an accurate appreciation of the situation, arrive at a firm conclusion, turn that into a plan, and put that plan into action swiftly, firmly and persistantly. Not exactly traits which we have seen up to now; which as an aside, must have come as a disappointment to those who yearned for the "smack of firm government"four years ago!

 

Holding pattern or dithering?

 

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26 minutes ago, Jimbo in Thailand said:

PS - At almost 4 1/2 years already I'm simply amazed that some disgruntled local hasn't stepped on that <deleted> cockroach yet.  Yep, it boggles the mind.  T.I.T. no?

The shooting of 90 odd (some suggest more) laid down a marker which resonates still, as it was intended to.

 

Firing on unarmed people seeking shelter in a temple reinforced that marker. It flew in the face of much that Thai society "regards as holy", and demonstrated complete ruthlessness.

 

That is why no-one will step up (or on). Don't forget who was the commander who did that...

 

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

It will have to host more than 100 meetings at all levels during 2019,

One of the major meeting will be the ASEAN-EU summit and centered around economic, trade and political. EU relationship with the military government is still under review and on hold and have stressed improving human rights for resuming full ties. Will be very awkward for junta Thailand to chair the ASEAN-EU Summit.  

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4 hours ago, Samui Bodoh said:

"...On Sunday Ittiporn Boonprakong, the EC chairman, said the polling could theoretically take place that day, only for a follow-up meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, who oversees the government’s legal affairs, to maintain the vagueness – the election might not happen until May.

 

While the EC is mandated to independently set the election date, the timing of this milestone on the much-vaunted “road map” set out by the National Council for Peace and Order, the ruling junta, is in fact left to the junta..."

 

The EC is mandated to independently set an election date? It don't look that way to me.

 

What "independent" agency in Thailand is actually "independent"?

 

The much more likely outcome of all this is the Junta banning elections while they are the Chair of ASEAN; they would do this to 'protect' ASEAN and Thailand from the 'inconveniences' of an election campaign, and definitely NOT to prolong their own stay in power.

 

The scale of mendacity from the Junta is beyond belief. 

 

 

 

 

Yep, article number "not-to-be-named" will override everything, 'cause the International society is not "Thailand's father".....

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2 minutes ago, Eric Loh said:

One of the major meeting will be the ASEAN-EU summit and centered around economic, trade and political. EU relationship with the military government is still under review and on hold and have stressed improving human rights for resuming full ties. Will be very awkward for junta Thailand to chair the ASEAN-EU Summit.  

I don't see why? If the EU representatives criticise Prayut he can just punch them in the face.

It's what he's said he'll do to domestic critics, so surely it will work with international ones too?

 

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5 minutes ago, Eric Loh said:

One of the major meeting will be the ASEAN-EU summit and centered around economic, trade and political. EU relationship with the military government is still under review and on hold and have stressed improving human rights for resuming full ties. Will be very awkward for junta Thailand to chair the ASEAN-EU Summit.  

Thailand does not enjoy a good reputation in civil diplomatic or economic circles.  It is looked down upon, as it cannot be trusted.  The junta's poor behavior will catch up with it via ASEAN summits.  The junta only fears the outside world, nothing else, and the outside world will be watching the summits.  If the junta was smart, they would pass in the chairmanship, but we all know they aren't and won't. 

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5 minutes ago, yellowboat said:

Thailand does not enjoy a good reputation in civil diplomatic or economic circles.  It is looked down upon, as it cannot be trusted.  The junta's poor behavior will catch up with it via ASEAN summits.  The junta only fears the outside world, nothing else, and the outside world will be watching the summits.  If the junta was smart, they would pass in the chairmanship, but we all know they aren't and won't

Ah, the emperor's new clothes committee.

 

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1 hour ago, bluesofa said:

Ah, the emperor's new clothes committee.

 

It is, sadly, predictable, isn't it?

 

The junta will strut and preen, "this is how we do things in Thailand, you really should follow our example you know"!

 

Something will happen - maybe a spot of piracy by government agencies, some highly visible human rights abuses, something along those lines. All the visitors at the summit will attempt to stifle their cynical giggles.

 

As their aeroplanes lift off the clarion call will go out: " It was all a misunderstanding, we have explained it and they now see that Thailand has special circumstances". 

 

Anyone care to venture odds on someone loosing his cool and the plot, in public, at some stage?

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2 hours ago, JAG said:

I suspect there are several options on the table at the moment. Simply not holding an election, using various of the excuses available (ASEAN, sad events, coronation, and of course "disturbance of order", actual, imagined or manufactured remains in play - the big question here remains : do the junta have the ability to control things if the "wheels come off"? I they think they do then the status quo remains. Let's call that "The Burma Option"

Disenfranchisement goes beyond simply rigging the results, I agree that is today almost impossible. However, more subtly, removing the main opposition party, and leaving it's likely supporters (possibly a majority of the electorate) with a fractured field of smaller parties to spread their votes over (if they bother) is as effective. The Cambodia Option?

 

Both options require the junta to make a decision, both will result in internal opposition, whether criticism and/or protest. Both will result in international opposition, as SB observes, to a degree dependant on reaction to Hun Sen's efforts. I suspect that the junta can't decide on the first, and simply don't understand the second.

 

One of the hallmarks of the trained military mind is supposed to be an ability to carry out an accurate appreciation of the situation, arrive at a firm conclusion, turn that into a plan, and put that plan into action swiftly, firmly and persistantly. Not exactly traits which we have seen up to now; which as an aside, must have come as a disappointment to those who yearned for the "smack of firm government"four years ago!

 

Holding pattern or dithering?

 

"Holding pattern or dithering?"

 

Let me offer a third option that is particularly troubling; what if the Junta calls for an election in November?

 

Before the idea is dismissed out of hand, it is what was promised to the Americans a while back, laws could be sped up to be in place (you don't have to wait the full 90 or 150 days per the legislation), there have been calls for a quick election and everything could easily (Article 44) be rammed through in a matter of days. Remember a few days ago when the chief Junta lawyer (Wis... I don't want to remember his name) gave his instructions to the EC? One of his reported, published comments was that elections usually occur over a 30 day period (see one of the political threads in the last few days, I can't remember which one it was).

 

Far-fetched, crazy idea? Why?

 

I can imagine the Junta triumphantly touting that they said there would be an election, that having an election in advance of the ASEAN Chairmanship is a good thing, and that opposition parties have been calling for an election for years; now that they have one, they want a delay? Further, the opposition parties are not exactly running on full cylinders; why allow them to have time to get organized? The pro-Junta parties have been openly organizing for a while now; it is likely that they would be ready, or at least readier than the opposition. Finally, as part of the early election call, the Junta could say that they are worried about "disturbances" or "third-parties causing trouble" or some other such nonsense, so they dust off the rules of the referendum and use them; no criticizing the Junta, not real public discussion, etc etc etc.

 

Yes, it would be a gross violation of the rules of Democracy, but what does the Junta care; if they think that they can get away with it, why wouldn't they do it?

 

Yes, it is pure speculation on my part, but I will be watching the international community's reaction to the events in Cambodia quite closely...

 

If Hun Sen could get away with it, why not the Junta?

 

Anyone?

 

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5 minutes ago, Samui Bodoh said:

"Holding pattern or dithering?"

 

Let me offer a third option that is particularly troubling; what if the Junta calls for an election in November?

 

Before the idea is dismissed out of hand, it is what was promised to the Americans a while back, laws could be sped up to be in place (you don't have to wait the full 90 or 150 days per the legislation), there have been calls for a quick election and everything could easily (Article 44) be rammed through in a matter of days. Remember a few days ago when the chief Junta lawyer (Wis... I don't want to remember his name) gave his instructions to the EC? One of his reported, published comments was that elections usually occur over a 30 day period (see one of the political threads in the last few days, I can't remember which one it was).

 

Far-fetched, crazy idea? Why?

 

I can imagine the Junta triumphantly touting that they said there would be an election, that having an election in advance of the ASEAN Chairmanship is a good thing, and that opposition parties have been calling for an election for years; now that they have one, they want a delay? Further, the opposition parties are not exactly running on full cylinders; why allow them to have time to get organized? The pro-Junta parties have been openly organizing for a while now; it is likely that they would be ready, or at least readier than the opposition. Finally, as part of the early election call, the Junta could say that they are worried about "disturbances" or "third-parties causing trouble" or some other such nonsense, so they dust off the rules of the referendum and use them; no criticizing the Junta, not real public discussion, etc etc etc.

 

Yes, it would be a gross violation of the rules of Democracy, but what does the Junta care; if they think that they can get away with it, why wouldn't they do it?

 

Yes, it is pure speculation on my part, but I will be watching the international community's reaction to the events in Cambodia quite closely...

 

If Hun Sen could get away with it, why not the Junta?

 

Anyone?

 

Very intriguing thoughts, Samui. What you suggest is certainly within the bounds of possibility.

 

I myself still strongly think that delay is the more likely route. After all, the junta have form on this - again and again and again. A leopard cannot change its spots, nor a tiger its stripes. They will want to hang on to the TOTAL power that they now hold for just as long as they can get away with it. Being the Chair of ASEAN is another perfect excuse for them to delay. And then there are all those other (real or fictitious) delay mechanisms which will be utilised to the full. Why not? The Thais have taken it all without a whimper so far. They will (largely) go on taking it (that is what the junta will bank on).

 

This lot ain't going to give up UNFETTERED power anytime soon.

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1 minute ago, Eligius said:

Very intriguing thoughts, Samui. What you suggest is certainly within the bounds of possibility.

 

I myself still strongly think that delay is the more likely route. After all, the junta have form on this - again and again and again. A leopard cannot change its spots, nor a tiger its stripes. They will want to hang on to the TOTAL power that they now hold for just as long as they can get away with it. Being the Chair of ASEAN is another perfect excuse for them to delay. And then there are all those other (real or fictitious) delay mechanisms which will be utilised to the full. Why not? The Thais have taken it all without a whimper so far. They will (largely) go on taking it (that is what the junta will bank on).

 

This lot ain't going to give up UNFETTERED power anytime soon.

Good post as always!

 

But, if there was a quick election and they "won", exactly what power would they be giving up? Under my scenario, the first piece of legislation to go through the legislature would be a "new and improved" Article 44; they kept it in the transition from the temporary constitution, why not keep it in the transition from military to 'civilian' rule? Who would stop them?

 

Even in the worst possible case scenario (from the Junta point of view), they and their pals have the courts, the guns, the "independent" agencies, they have been embedding their allies in every strata and layer of power available for four full years, etc etc etc; the idea that the forces of goodness can waive a magic wand and clear them out quickly is nonsense, Thailand is going to be suffering under their weight for a long time, no matter what happens, and people better get used to that idea.

 

And, again from their point of view, they would have legitimacy. Think of the preening and prancing Prayut if he could claim to be Democratically elected? It would be nonsense, but if they controlled everything, then...

 

Okay, I am scaring myself now. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, JAG said:

Anyone care to venture odds on someone loosing his cool and the plot, in public, at some stage?

Dunno about the odds, but I'm sure it will be captured on video for posterity, Within days bound to be made illegal to share.

 

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1 hour ago, Samui Bodoh said:

"Holding pattern or dithering?"

 

Let me offer a third option that is particularly troubling; what if the Junta calls for an election in November?

 

Before the idea is dismissed out of hand, it is what was promised to the Americans a while back, laws could be sped up to be in place (you don't have to wait the full 90 or 150 days per the legislation), there have been calls for a quick election and everything could easily (Article 44) be rammed through in a matter of days. Remember a few days ago when the chief Junta lawyer (Wis... I don't want to remember his name) gave his instructions to the EC? One of his reported, published comments was that elections usually occur over a 30 day period (see one of the political threads in the last few days, I can't remember which one it was).

 

Far-fetched, crazy idea? Why?

 

I can imagine the Junta triumphantly touting that they said there would be an election, that having an election in advance of the ASEAN Chairmanship is a good thing, and that opposition parties have been calling for an election for years; now that they have one, they want a delay? Further, the opposition parties are not exactly running on full cylinders; why allow them to have time to get organized? The pro-Junta parties have been openly organizing for a while now; it is likely that they would be ready, or at least readier than the opposition. Finally, as part of the early election call, the Junta could say that they are worried about "disturbances" or "third-parties causing trouble" or some other such nonsense, so they dust off the rules of the referendum and use them; no criticizing the Junta, not real public discussion, etc etc etc.

 

Yes, it would be a gross violation of the rules of Democracy, but what does the Junta care; if they think that they can get away with it, why wouldn't they do it?

 

Yes, it is pure speculation on my part, but I will be watching the international community's reaction to the events in Cambodia quite closely...

 

If Hun Sen could get away with it, why not the Junta?

 

Anyone?

 

Hmm, thought provoking stuff.

 

But...

 

It would require a degree of decisiveness, and as it is a risk, courage to pull it off.

 

I don't think they have it.

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1 hour ago, Samui Bodoh said:

If Hun Sen could get away with it, why not the Junta?

Hun Sen is a gangster and has little interest in western tourism or investment.  His interests are on China.  He is focusing on gambling and, construction and infrastructure projects.   There is no quota for Chinese going to Cambodia compared to Macau, and that has some in Macau grumbling. 

 

The junta, with its legitimacy delusions, has far more formidable adversaries, they still want western tourists, the auto industry is foreign controlled, the electronics factories are foreign controlled.  Given foreign interests in Thailand and the uncontrollably brutal of foreign media, it would be more verbal abuse than the delicate tinpot could bear should he decide to pull a Hun Sen caper.   Look how he buckled after the Indonesian reporter took a shot at Thailand's lack of participatory government. 

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