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.
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