The Bangkok Post has yet another politically timid story on the military junta’s elections. Indeed, the Post seems to move ever closer to the military tyrants.
In this story, it mentions that Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha “has signed an order granting the Election Commission (EC) the authority to do what is necessary to resolve disputes so that the redrawing of all 350 constituencies are done by the Dec 10 deadline.”
That order invokes Article 44 of the 2014 interim charter, that remains in force to allow The Dictator to do anything he wants.
The story then “explains” that the use of dictatorial power results from “complaints by several parties about the constituency map proposed by the EC and inadequate and incomprehensive [sic.] hearings on them.”
So The Dictator has decided that his puppet EC can do as it wants (or as it is ordered) in the event of complaints and screw the process. It also absolves the EC from legal responsibilities: “The EC’s decisions or actions shall be considered legitimate, constitutional and final…”.
This order trashes an earlier junta order “requiring public hearings on the new map before the EC approves it.” We can only guess that this now clears the way for junta boundary rigging should The Dictator decide this is necessary for his parties to triumph.
Thai PBS has a different take. It reports a junta spokesman as saying the order will “give more time for the Election Commission to demarcate constituency boundaries…”.
In fact, if there are no hearings and no scrutiny of the puppet agency, then “more time” makes no sense at all. With hearings gone, the process should require less time. If the EC is taking more time and dumping scrutiny and hearings then the conclusion is that the junta wants more time to seek benefit for its parties.
This is confirmed when that spokesman “insisted that there was no hidden agenda behind the order…”. When the junta says such things, you can be pretty certain it is up to no good.