The Dictator’s dictates

Dictatorships usually speak loudly about law and order. In Thailand, it is no different. Military regimes that have trampled human rights, constitutions and the rule of law are the ones that shout loudest about law and order.

The current military regime is in no exception as The Dictator has increasingly used Article 44 to make decrees on all manner of things. Indeed, General Prayuth Chan-ocha seems addicted to Article 44. As an addict, he is using it on an almost daily basis.

The Bangkok Post refers to this “addiction to the powerful Section 44” and notes that “legal experts” consider its use “does more harm than good to the country…”. That seems a limp statement; in fact, the use of Article 44 has undermined rule of law.

The interim charter’s Article 44 grants The Dictator “sweeping powers” allowing him to issue dictates on everything social, political, bureaucratic and economic.

In 2015 and 2016, has seen more than 100 uses of Article 44.

Activist Jon Ungpakorn is quoted as criticizing The Dictator’s use of the Article for “quick-fix solutions to complex and long-standing problems that require thorough analysis…”. Jon stated that the use of the Article reflects Prayuth’s “autocratic leadership…” and the “use [of] his power in arbitrary ways as there are no mechanisms for checks and balances…”. Prayuth acts as premier, legislator and judge. Parliament becomes a sideshow.

Jon said the “use of Section 44 may erode the country’s legal system with consequences that will outlast the junta’s rule…”.

Of course, the anti-democrats who polish The Dictator’s posterior love dictatorship and rule by decree because they have no patience for rule of law and representation.

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