Yes, we know, he’s been promoting a Yes vote from the beginning. However, our headline follows a story in The Nation.
Two days before Sunday’s referendum, Prime Minister, General and The Dictator, Prayuth Chan-ocha, dressed in full military uniform, “announced publicly he will vote in approval of the charter draft after he has studied it thoroughly.”
He declared that: “As a Thai citizen, I have the right to say [my stance].” True, and somne other politicians have announced a stance. But we have long known Prayuth’s stance.
However, he falls back into Dictatorspeak – lies – when he claims “I don’t try to influence voters…”.
In fact, The Dictator has used all of the state’s assets to promote, demand and threaten voters into casting a Yes vote for the military’s charter.
Having made his statement, Prayuth then disingenuously “urged voters to exercise their rights on the referendum day and do not allow themselves to be swayed by others’ opinions.”
He doesn’t mean his opinion, which he hopes influences all people and especially officials at all levels, who in turn are expected to forcefully promote the Yes vote.
Update: Khaosod has the story as well, and presents some important comments from Chulalongkorn University’s Pitch Pongsawat. He said “the speech wasn’t the real message Prayuth was sending – but one of sartorial authority in his choice of clothes.” He added:
I don’t care much about what he said. The point is, he wants to show that he’s still in charge of the NCPO, and the NCPO remains the political wing of the army…. Today he not only revealed his stance but also stressed it beyond all clarity that the military is in charge of the country…. This is the clearest signal one can ever give before the referendum: That the army still has political power in this country….