While we have long said that The Dictator craved being in power for longer and longer, it is useful when our perspective is confirmed, even if that confirmation appears to have been loose blabbing by a general who forgot he’s supposed to keep this quiet.
The blabber was 2nd Army Region commander Lt Gen Wichai Chaejorhor who declared that there’s “widespread support in the Northeast for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to stay in power…”.
Lt Gen Wichai then went on to express blatantly racist – i.e., widely held Bangkok yellow-shirted – attitudes towards people in the northeast. He stated that “Isan people easily believe others. They love sincerely and they are loyal to those they love. They are also grateful…”.
Forget that the northeast has long been one of the most politically progressive regions of the country. But remember that the Bangkok royalist elite has looked down on these people. The anti-democrats in over the past 15 years have – and continue – to look down on those in the northeast as “buffaloes” but this is just the most recent contempt for northeastern progressives, democrats and politicians.
After looking down on northeasterners, the dopey general then claimed “many people in the region have expressed their desire to have Gen Prayut … continue guiding the country forward as it chases national reconciliation and development.”
The general said the bigger general had real support: “They spoke their mind, saying they ‘want Uncle Tu to stay on’. And they meant it, I can reassure you of that…”.
Buffaloes they are: “On many occasions I have had to help them understand the truth and not believe the distorted information being spread in some areas,” but he “convinced” them of his “truth.”
Or, this particular dopey general convinced himself of his “truth.” In all of this, he’s made it clear that the military’s plan is to have The Dictator continue as The “elected” Dictator.
The Dictator’s campaigning is likely to continue in other regions as the junta feels it has stumbled on a strategy for getting “votes.” They are to revive “mobile” cabinet meetings. Thaksin Shinawatra had those and so did Chatichai Choonhavan, but both were elected prime ministers.
We imagine that a political strategy from the late 1980s is considered an innovation by these knuckle-draggers. We know they plan to stay on in power. We have been able to watch them prepare for it for three years.