The Dictator is campaigning hard. He seems to feel that he needs to hold an “election” sooner or later but knows he still can’t be guaranteed the victory he desires. Along with destabilizing the Puea Thai Party, jailing opponents, using the “law” against them and building pro-junta parties, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha is using the military, the bureaucracy and taxpayer’s funds in seeking to tip the “election” even more in his favor.
The next cabinet circus is scheduled for 23-24 July in the northeast. Money is going to be promised in the provinces of Ubol Ratchathani and Amnat Charoen.
A big part of the campaign trip is to meet former MPs in the two provinces and convince and cajole them into signing up for for the Palang Pracharat Party, the junta’s party. The target in Ubol is said to be up to “seven former Pheu Thai MPs…”.
Some have already been turned and will provide the avenues through which the junta will make peace with former MPs. That’s not as easy as it may seem, for the junta and the military has been harassing them for years. But piles of loot and the promise of more to come soothes many losses of face and other insults.
Naturally enough, the junta’s spokespersons have lied and said that there’s nothing “political” in the visit, denying the main reason for the whole show.