The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, seems to have thrown the existing political parties into something of a tizzy. On television, he asked four questions.
1. Do you think the next election will get us a government with good governance?
2. If that is not the case, what will you do?
3. Elections are an integral part of democracy but are elections alone with no regard for the country’s future and others right or wrong?
4. Do you think bad politicians should be given a chance to come back, and if conflict re-emerges, who will solve it and by what means?
Interestingly, the parties have decided that Prayuth is suggesting that he and his junta will stay on. Frankly, what’s surprising is that they are reported as only “suspecting” this. We are sure that they have recognized the junta’s plans for longevity long ago.
Yet it also seems that Prayuth may be outwitting the political parties.
The parties desperately want an election. Any election. It is their bread-and-butter and they can only survive if they have positions, policies and supporters. Prayuth and his junta, even those in other factions, only want the election where the outcome is known and in their favor. They prefer no election until they can “manage” the right(ist) outcome.
Hence, when members of the political parties doubt an election is coming, they throw their support behind the constitution and an election. In other words, the junta’s constitution, its rules and its “election.”
They have been driven into a junta cul-de-sac from which they will find it difficult to break out one they have accepted the junta’s rules, procedures and illegitimate constitution.
That will also suit the king and the junta should the junta ever decide that the time for their election victory is upon them.