Tag Archives: Pau Thai

Anti-Military Parties Should Not Do Dirty Deals with The Democrats and They Cannot Rely on the Courts

Giles Ji Ungpakorn

It is now clear that during the ridiculous 6 week delay in declaring the Thai election results, the Electoral Commission has managed to find a fraudulent formula to keep the junta in power. The pathetic excuse for this delay was the coronation of the odious Wachiralongkorn.

A few days after the March election it became obvious that anti-military parties like Pua Thai and Future Forward Party, along with their smaller party allies, had won both the popular vote and a majority of constituency seats. [See https://bit.ly/307AgpF ].

The result showed clearly that a majority of Thai citizens had voted against the military.


Yet, now, the Electoral Commission has changed the dubious formula for calculating the number of “Party List” MPs for each party. Not surprisingly, the Future Forward Party has lost a number of Party List seats which it originally had. These seats have now been given to tiny unknown parties which never declared their policies towards democracy and the military. Some obtained less than 40 thousand national votes.

Hey presto!! The result is that the overall majority that the anti-military parties originally obtained in parliament has suddenly evaporated!

The small parties that gained single party list seats are not well known to most people and they were obviously ripe to be bought by the junta in order to shore up its bid to form a government. They now say that they will support Prayut’s junta.

In addition to this, key members of the Future Forward Party are facing trumped-up charges in order to try to have them disqualified.

And, as we know, the junta has appointed 250 of its own people to the senate in order to guarantee support for the military remaining in power.

Fraudulent tricks in order to claim “democratic legitimacy” have been used in other countries like Egypt and Burma. No one should be fooled by such manoeuvres.

Dirty deals with the Democrat Party and Poom Jai Thai Party

It is shocking that the so-called pro-democracy parties, especially the Future Forward Party, are considering a dirty deal with the Democrat Party and Poom Jai Thai Party in a pathetic attempt to try to stop Prayut from returning as Prime Minister.


Such a deal with the likes of Abhisit, who murdered Red Shirt pro-democracy activists when he was last Prime Minister in a military backed government, is an insult to all those who have fought for democracy. It is also doomed to fail in terms of restoring democracy and ending the legacy of the military junta, which the Future Forward Party claimed as key policies during the election campaign. Both the Democrat Party and Poom Jai Thai Party have a history of working with military regimes.


It represents an imbecilic obsession with dirty parliamentary politics at the expense of citizen participation. Elected politicians do deals while citizens merely sit and watch. Is this the so-called “New Future” that the Future Forward Party has been talking about? It looks much more like old-style corrupt politics.

Another example of an imbecilic obsession with parliamentary politics is the fact that Pua Thai and Future Forward Parties have threaten legal action in the courts against the Electoral Commission. But Thai courts are tools of the military junta and the conservative anti-democrats. We saw this when the courts were used to stage at least two judicial coups against elected governments in the past. The courts also selectively punished politicians like Yingluck on dubious charges while ignoring the crimes of corrupt military coupsters. The courts also struck down a proposal for a high speed rail project claiming that it would be better to improve fictitious unpaved roads in rural areas.


Not only will relying on the courts to stop the junta’s election fraud be unsuccessful, but it will tie up politicians in long lawsuits while the junta carry on ruling the country. It amounts to a capitulation to the junta.


The Mass Movement is the Key

Instead of these hopeless manoeuvres, the political leaders of the anti-military parties should organise their millions of supporters to attend pro-democracy rallies. This would help build a pro-democracy social movement and put pressure on the military. The lessons from many countries around the world is that democratic rights cannot be won without mass struggle.


If the political leaders of Pua Thai and Future Forward Parties are unwilling to organise their voters into a movement, ordinary activists will have to step in and gradually build such a movement themselves.

Further reading:

Flawed Thai elections   https://bit.ly/2RIIvrD

The Thai Junta’s Road Map to “Guided Democracy” https://bit.ly/2QMrGf9

Thai Politics after the 2019 Election https://bit.ly/2UsA30a

As the New Year approaches, Thai political prisoners are still in jail

Numnual  Yapparat

 What is happening in Thailand? The answers very much depend on who you are and which side you are on. We, who are still free and welcoming the New Year, must not forget the Thai political prisoners. They have been denied the right to celebrate the New Year with their families because they expressed their desire for democracy.  At the moment, there are about 23 political prisoners who are in jail.

If you are poor or are opposed to the Thai conservative ruling class, then you cannot trust the Thai justice system. For those who are charged with Lese Majeste, the trails are held in secret. The judges explain that these people insulted the king and that they pose a dangerous threat to “national security”. Naturally, the judges say that they cannot reveal what the detainees have said to insult the king or the queen. Put it simply, if you want to abuse someone you don’t like, you just tell the police that they insulted the king.

One interesting question that we should raise in such a context, is what should be done if the king insults the people and democracy? Should he say sorry for his wrong doings? These kind of questions are very simple to ask in the democratic world. But Thailand you can land in jail. Given that things are so wrong, how can people be prevented from thinking about a Republic?

I would like to give some examples of how the courts behave against Thai political prisoners.

“Ekachai” who was charged under the Lese Majeste law, distributed the ABC documentary which was produced by the news agency in Australia. The documentary is about the crown prince and his wife. The matters that have been said in the documentary are not new at all. People know very well about the facts and pictures that are mentioned in the documentary.  Ekachai also sold copies of the Wikileaks papers which were translated into Thai at a Red Shirt demonstration. In the papers, Prem Tinsulanonda, Siti Savetsila and Anand Panyarachun, who are on the Privy Council, openly discussed the crown prince’s ill-behaviour with the American Ambassador. During the trial, the defence wanted these people to be summoned to the court. Disgustingly, the court did not dare to summon these big names and anyway that would have exposed them as having criticised the prince. Ekachai is still in jail.

A Red Shirt protestor who was accused of setting fire to public buildings is still in jail. The evidence that the court used against him is very weak. For example, the court used only one picture to blame him and put him in jail.

There are countless other examples where the courts fail to deliver justice to ordinary people, especially in labour disputes between employers and employees.

The best solution to reform the Thai court system is to introduce a jury system. The judges also should be elected, otherwise the courts will just be the tool of those who are in power.

The mainstream parties will not make a positive change in Thailand unless a pro-democracy mass movement, which is politically independent from Pau Thai, is built. When Pau Thai tried to pass the amnesty bill a few weeks ago, it did not include lese majeste political prisoners but Pua Thai were ready to give a pardon to those who killed unarmed Red Shirt protestors. Shame on them!

The Democrat Party is a dirty party. They lie straight-faced about democratic principles and demand that Thailand should go back to be under an absolute monarchy. The Democrats committed crimes in broad daylight. They were involved with closing down the airports in 2008 and now they are using violence to block candidate registrations for the coming elections. When the Democrats were the government, they killed people who demanded democracy. When in opposition, they call for democracy to be dismantled.  Yes, and they are still free and seem to have the right to commit crimes against innocent people and democracy repeatedly.

After the New Year, we are anticipating a fresh political crisis. However, we should not let those at the top, whether Democrats or Pau Thai, set the political agendas. Pro-democracy people have to set our own political goals. The lessons from the previous year teach us that we cannot trust any of them. In the short term, we have to move forward to the election and we should not end up as mere cheerleaders for Pau Thai. We have to put pressure on them to have progressive policies. We need to have our own party, the party that puts working peoples’ interests before that of the elites.

This New Year, remember the political prisoners; Somyot, Ekachai, Da and all the others.