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Article 44 may be used for poll postponement


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Article 44 may be used for poll postponement

By KAS CHANWANPEN, 
NATTAPAT PHROMKAEW 
THE NATION

 

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PM Prayut Chan-o-cha

 

PUNDITS SAY FURTHER DELAYS WOULD CREATE POLITICAL BLACK HOLE, LEAD TO UNPREDICTABILITY

 

POLITICAL scientists warned yesterday that the elections may be postponed beyond March 24, and there is a high chance that it will be held after the coronation of the King if the Royal Decree is not published this week.

 

Describing Article 44, which grants the junta leader absolute power to overrule even the Constitution, as a “wonder of law”, political scientists at the “Election 2019?” forum said it could very well be used to postpone the elections.

 

The forum was held at Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan Campus.

 

Prajak Kongkirati, a political scientist from the university, said it will not bode well if the Royal Decree is not issued this week as promised by government officials.

 

Though the current most likely election date is March 24, Prajak said if it was to be postponed, then it will likely be held after May 9 – the final date forced by the Constitution.

 

“Though it will be unconstitutional, holding it after May 9 may still be possible with the ‘wonder of law’,” the expert said.

 

“However, that would mean we enter a political black hole where the Constitution is meaningless and no rules are the norm other than Article 44.” In fact, Prajak said, a pessimistic few believe an election may not even be a possibility this year.

 

This is taking into account a recent movement calling for peace before the elections. A group, calling itself “Unity before Election”, took to the streets on Saturday demanding that pro-election protesters stop making demands.

 

The group said this was not the time to demand an election, especially since the country is getting ready to celebrate the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn in May. This, the scientists said, may suggest that the election could be further postponed.

 

On Saturday, ultra-rightist Army officer Maj-General Tanasak Mitrapanont, posted a video on YouTube, saying the election should be postponed to focus on the coronation. In the clip, Tanasak calls on Thai netizens to launch a campaign both online and offline for the elections to be delayed for the sake of this special occasion for royalists.

 

Prajak also indicated that there have been moves to push a new discourse that the elections should not be held until there is peace in society.

 

However, the political expert pointed out that failing to hold an election would only put Thailand in a state of “uncertainty” and “unpredictability”.

 

State of uncertainty

 

“We keep making promises to the international community, but then we keep putting the elections off. This makes us look erratic,” he said. “With this unpredictability, governments and investors have no idea what to expect from us. This is not good for the country or anyone.”

 

This also generates tension within the country, the expert said.

 

“An election is a political process where people reconcile [their differences]. It brings conflict into the system,” Prajak said.

 

“Not having reliable rules is dangerous. It means that we have to resort to violence and resolve the issues in the street.”

 

The idea of achieving peace before election is a myth, Prajak stressed, adding that differences and conflicts are common and we need an election to sort them out and ease the tension.

 

Other political scientists, Siriphan Noksuan Sawasdee and Stithorn Thananithichot, agreed that the junta may resort to using Article 44 to reschedule the election given the current uncertainty. Siriphan, too, said this would create a black hole in politics, but the best way to go about it would be to at least set a timeframe, such as 60 days after the coronation.

 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha told the press yesterday: “[The Royal Decree] will be out soon. Calm down. It’ll be out very soon.” However, he refused to say exactly when it will be published despite the public’s intense curiosity and concern.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30362687

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-01-22
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1 hour ago, webfact said:

“We keep making promises to the international community, but then we keep putting the elections off. This makes us look erratic,

An understatement to say the least. I guess by "us" he means Thailand but to be precise it is the unelected senior leadership of the the Thai government which is not only being erratic but negligent and smugly duplicitous. 

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

“Though it will be unconstitutional, holding it after May 9 may still be possible with the ‘wonder of law’,” the expert said.

hardly a 'wonder'; more like 'no law'

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

“We keep making promises to the international community, but then we keep putting the elections off. This makes us look erratic,”

It mealy re-enforces current opinions of the regime. That they are doing everything to hold onto power, is well within the scope of expected behaviour of many tinpot unelected regimes across the world. Expect investment to slowly dry up next.

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

but the best way to go about it would be to at least set a timeframe, such as 60 days after the coronation.

 

Yes, do that, set a time frame... It's like a road map, only more flexible 🙂

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

“We keep making promises to the international community, but then we keep putting the elections off. This makes us look erratic,” he said.

erratic?

some may use another word

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And only the other day one of the top junta minions (I forget which one - they all blend into one unpalatable mass and mush) said words to the effect that: 'Even Article 44 cannot - definitely CANNOT - be used to postpone the election beyond the mandatory time-frame'.

 

What a circus. What kabuki theatre. What utter balderdash it all is. 

 

Still, this is Thailand. The Thais have their own marvellous ways of conducting politics, and lapping it all up - and I suppose the rest of the world are expected to learn from their supernal wisdom.

 

I'm basically done with getting riled up about it all. The Thais clearly are not much bothered by this daily (and I literally mean DAILY) set of insults to their intelligence - so why should I be bothered by this farce?

 

 

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3 minutes ago, AGareth2 said:

erratic?

some may use another word

Maybe they meant erotic, teasing the people with election promises.

 

Kicking the can down the road seems to be the new normal now in international politics, I doubt most western governments would even notice their election delays given the parlous state of things elsewhere. 

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

“However, that would mean we enter a political black hole where the Constitution is meaningless and no rules are the norm other than Article 44.”

 

It's really quite simple. The general can just use his wondrous, mandate-of-heaven, cosmic supernatural powers to proclaim the Constitution meaningful. There...that was easy.

 

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

The group said this was not the time to demand an election, especially since the country is getting ready to celebrate the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn i

same  old  controlling bs

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I imagine that it would not be difficult to come up with reasons (excuses) for delaying the election every year into the future.

If you cannot come up with a reason, then just slip in a superstition or two.

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2 minutes ago, DoctorG said:

I imagine that it would not be difficult to come up with reasons (excuses) for delaying the election every year into the future.

If you cannot come up with a reason, then just slip in a superstition or two.

Very sad, but absolutely correct. Worse thing is, half the population probably believe the superstition.

 

I can see it now:

PM: We've had to cancel the latest election date.

Journalist (bravely): Why?

PM: My  doctor said it was necessary.

Journalist: Which doctor?

PM: Correct, my witch doctor.

 

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From what I read the statement was made by 'political scientists.'

I'm not attacking or defending any side by the way but these kind of statements always seem to include words like   could,   might,  may,  and little get out phrases on the lines of  possibly if,   in the case of,  blah blah blah.

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18 minutes ago, overherebc said:

From what I read the statement was made by 'political scientists.'

I'm not attacking or defending any side by the way but these kind of statements always seem to include words like   could,   might,  may,  and little get out phrases on the lines of  possibly if,   in the case of,  blah blah blah.

At the end of your post, are you still referring to political scientists or someone else? 

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3 hours ago, Cadbury said:

An understatement to say the least. I guess by "us" he means Thailand but to be precise it is the unelected senior leadership of the the Thai government which is not only being erratic but negligent and smugly duplicitous. 

sounds like brexit

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37 minutes ago, mickymouse1 said:

What difference will it make to the Thai people if election is held tomorrow or 24th March or in May??????

or if it isn't held at all, the army is the major power siting in the wings waiting to pounce at one wrong move.

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2 minutes ago, soalbundy said:

or if it isn't held at all, the army is the major power siting in the wings waiting to pounce at one wrong move.

if it wasn't for the army; it would have been the BiBs have all the power - thru corruption...

therefore the army is protecting the land from becoming a police state

 

chicken before the egg

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Surprised? NO! The PM (and former Junta leader) have been "postponing" since 2014! Every year, in fact.

 

Is the "shadowy dimwit man" pulling the puppet's strings again? Doesn't like the possibility of losing power gained in 1932?

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Cheap scare talk . . . nothing more. I would have expected more from The Nation than this 'elections MAY be postponed' conjecture. It'll be 'pigs might fly', next. And, that Prayuth's all powerful 44-Magnum - the most powerful article in the vest - may be called into action . . . well the mind simply boggles.

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