In a recent post, we commented on some of the tasks required of The Dictator. One we left out was the formation of a military-based political party. This now seems to be under consideration, holding out the notion to see what the reaction is.
To be honest, we would have guessed that the military or General Prayuth Chan-ocha would not have wanted to risk this move, having seen it rejected in the past. Yet it seems the junta and its supporters are now confident and they expect many Thais to accept such a move.
The Bangkok Post reports that as happened in 1991, the potential post-“election” premier has his military classmates looking to establish a military party.
The Post says that Sompong Sakawee, the head of the political party reform sub-committee of the National Reform Steering Assembly, states that “[s]ome of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s classmates have sought advice on the establishment of a new political party under new rules…”.
Sompong’s “advice” seems odd, seemingly a comment designed to advertise a military party. He says he told them “a new political party will no longer belong to a rich man like before. It will be owned by its members and membership fees will be collected…”.
He claims he’s advised that “[i]f the PM is to set up a political party, it should be different from existing parties. It must not be backed by a wealthy man or mobilise MPs.”
Sompong “said he believed there would be supporters and if there are 4-5 million members, the party can be set up.”
It seems that Sompong is explaining the military’s plans.