For most of 2013 and some of 2014, the Election Commission was actually the anti-Election Committee, doing evertyhting it could to prevent and election and then to ensure it collapsed. In the latter, the EC had plenty of support from the People’s Democratic Reform Committee.
Since the 2014 military coup, the EC has been pretty much dormant, except when some of its members fell out with the junta.
However, a report at the Bangkok Post has a bit of detail about Pol Col Jarungvith Phumma, the EC secretary-general who says his position “will give him the opportunity to ensure a democratic culture takes root in Thai politics.”
In fact, this is a very large pile of buffalo manure. Pol Col Jarungvith is a dedicated anti-democrat and his definition of “democracy” is that of the “good” people defined by their yellow shirts.
Pol Col Jarungvith, appointed on 8 May after a period as caretaker, He says he “dreams of is a society in which people choose representatives of their own accord and where their choices are not driven by money.”
This is a sad reflection of the yellow shirt position that all those who repeatedly and consistently voted to elect Thaksin Shinawatra-associated governments were misled, duped and bought. It is an article of faith that grew from an inability of the people who became anti-democrats to defeat these Thaksin-affiliated parties in national votes.
As Jarungvith acknowledges, his job it to ensure the “new rules” are implemented, protected and enforced. That is, his role is to police the junta’s crooked rules.
This means “intense training” of his staff “on how to make political parties abide by poll regulations, how to deal with vote cheating and how to protect witnesses in election fraud cases.”
We doubt any of this is going to apply to the junta’s parties.
Jarungvith explains that his police work had him “tasked with closely monitoring political conflicts in the country. He was often assigned to deal with hardcore political activists and street demonstrators.” His conclusion based on that work will warm the hearts of the anti-democrats for its expression of where he stands:
“I saw clearly there was a specific group bent on stirring up violence,” he said.
He also learned that, in many cases, political rallies were sustained by money from unnamed sources. Apparently, there were people sponsoring the protests, who were also willing to spend their money to further a political cause….
He also found some rally-goers did not join the protest based on an informed decision, but instead were lured into the activities by behind-the-scenes influences.
Whether he’s speaking of the Assembly of the Poor, the People’s Alliance for Democracy or red shirts, this perspective is fundamentally anti-democratic mantra.
His loyalty was rewarded when Pol Col Jarungvith was appointed a member of the now-defunct National Reform Council.
He seems the junta’s perfect EC secretary-general.