Yesterday there was a bit of a media fuss about The Dictator needing to resign from the premiership he gave himself, with royal approval, if he was to stand in an election.
This fuss was confusing because there’s no need for General Prayuth Chan-ocha to stand for election in order to be prime minister after any “election” that the junta decided to hold.
The Nation reports that The Dictator is “fed up” with the “media asking whether he would contest the next general election.” He says that the question trespasses on his “personal business” and the “media should not ask him again about it.”
The Dictator, who has “managed” a constitution and other rules that allow him, the junta and the military to control politics into the future and for up to 20 years, can’t understand why the media is interested in his political plans.
Okay, so he’s not that stupid. He’s just a little more ticked off than usual that the media dares ask him and are neglecting who’s boss: “It’s my business…. And don’t ask me again…”.
The junta leader has been under mounting pressure to make it clear whether he planned to contest the next election or solicit parliamentary support to become a non-elected prime minister.
His bile rose when he considered criticism of his military dictatorship. He “attacked Thai academics living overseas for criticising his post-coup government.” How dare they! Prayuth ranted that his military regime “had done many things for the country,” but these overseas-based academics were still critical.
The report says The Dictator was apparently “referring to academics who lived overseas in political asylum and had organised public forums criticising the junta-backed government for eroding democracy and violating human rights.”
How are all those overseas academics feeling about attending the International Conference on Thai Studies when colleagues cannot attend because they are currently jailed or forced into exile? How do they plan to say anything critical of the military dictatorship?
They probably don’t care and, like The Dictator, are “fed up” with the question.