Merely demanding elections in Thailand is woefully inadequate.

Giles Ji Ungpakorn

As the junta calmly extends its dictatorial rule, repeatedly breaking deadlines for elections, it is worth looking over the border to Burma where so-called “free and fair” elections are taking place. Of course to any interested observer, it is obvious that the Burmese elections are a sham, a mere ceremony, where the military retains real power under the military constitution whatever the outcome of the elections.

Any Thai elections in the future will be similar. The military’s appointed anti-reform committees are continuing with their attempts to design an electoral system which will give more weight to the military-supporting Democrat Party. The hideous plan is to ensure that no political party, especially any party associated with Taksin, ever wins an overall majority in parliament. For these anti-reformers the ideal government will be a weak and unstable coalition of small fragmented parties, easily manipulated by the military and the conservative elites. This set up would also open the door for an unelected Prime Minister, someone who is not an MP, chosen by the elites.

In the meantime soldiers are still jack-booting their way into peoples’ homes for attitude changing sessions, the latest “offense” being people who dared to wear red shirts last Sunday as part of a political gesture against the junta. Predictably, self-infatuated General Prayut is still shooting his mouth off with rather stupid empty threats to “close the country”. The junta also seems to be worried by the activities of various exiles outside the country who are constantly campaigning against military rule and giving encouragement to those who dare to resist inside Thailand.

The military Prime Minister’s office has just issued a decree about how to ask permission to protest, along with a list of all the anti-riot equipment that the police will use. It is a rather abstract list, given that when push comes to shove, the military will just open fire on demonstrators with live rounds, like they did in 2010.

The buffoons who run the junta obviously think that people inside and outside Thailand are as stupid as themselves. Self-deluded General Tanasak Patimabrakorn, deputy Prime Minister, revealed that the first meeting of the military appointed “Moral Standards Committee” has decided to uplift the moral standards of the Thai population and to turn Thailand into a “moral leader” in ASEAN and even on the world stage!! This is from the bunch of murdering gangsters who killed unarmed demonstrators in cold blood, stole the democratic rights of the citizens and are busy bullying anyone with an independent mind.

But the important point about the present terrible political situation in Thailand is that merely demanding elections is woefully inadequate because they will not be democratic. What is needed is the complete overthrow of the junta and the cutting down in strength and influence of the military and the conservative elites. No one can do this for the Thai people. We must liberate ourselves through mass political movements.