Thailand: Elections postponed as anti-democrats show their colours

Thai dictator Prayuth Chan-ocha has told reporters not to “speculate” when elections would be held again in Thailand. Many analysts are predicting that elections will not take place until at least 2016 ― rubbishing the initial promises of the military junta that seized power in May to hold elections next year.

Meanwhile a panel of anti-reformist junta lackeys were pontificating about the legacy of the October 14, 1973 uprising against the military and how this would “influence” the present anti-reform process.

This academic meeting was not banned by the junta, unlike pro-democracy seminars.

Kamnoon Sitisamarn, a former military appointed senator, said that having parliamentary elections with political parties nominating their own candidates for elections was the same as the Chinese government’s insistence that it has the sole right to select the candidates for “elections” in Hong Kong.

Now most of us would see the parallels between the Chinese regime and Kamnoon’s masters in the Thai junta, but Kamnoon believes that MPs should not belong to political parties and should be “independent”. Independent of democratic accountability no doubt!

So, all Western democracies are really dictatorships, according to this anti-reformist. We can see what kind of future system these people have in mind.

Anek Laotamatas, a well-known academic who glorifies the Thai middle classes in his writings, tried to rewrite history by claiming that he represented the views of the October heroes from 1973. This mealy-mouthed ex-communist said that in those days, the students were against dictatorship, but the most important thing was they loved the king.

Anek is well-known for despising rural people, who he believes are trapped in a patron-client relationship. We can only guess that for Anek, only the middle classes, who called for the coup and wrecked elections in February, can be trusted to develop democracy.

One of the problems with Thai academia is that they shy away from debate, even when there is not military rule, and therefore academics are used to spouting any old rubbish and expect their students and the general population to listen obediently.

Manit Suksomjit, a retired media professional, claimed that Thailand had suffered from a “parliamentary dictatorship” and the biggest problem was the stupidity of the people who elected crafty intelligent politicians.

No doubt it would be better if the lower classes were denied the vote or maybe if good people like Manit could veto election results.

Finally, Tawatchai Yongkitikoon, rich banker and secretary of the Thai Bankers Association, said that the real problem in Thailand was corruption. He waxed lyrical about “wonderful” corruption-free Singapore. “No one in Singapore complains about the lack of democratic rights,” he declared.

Maybe so, because you risk losing your job, your flat or even risk jail if you are too forthright in Singapore. What is more, the top politicians, who manipulate elections, pay themselves higher salaries than the US president.

Nepotism is rife in the island state. Yet, all this cannot possibly be corruption, of course.

[Reprinted from Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal.]

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