The election is now over, but the international community is not fooled that it has brought democracy to Thailand.
The military-backed regime and its Election Commission are abusing their power to muzzle the anti-junta parliamentary faction and, with the help of the junta-appointed senators are forging a self-proclaimed “legitimate” government. The truth is clear to the eyes of the world that this incoming military government is not mandated by the majority of Thai people.
For the past five years under Prayut’s military rule, the national economy has gone into decline. There have been no tangible achievements – unless you count the military exploiting national budget to secure arms, the government compensating digital media with billions of baht, and the award of favourable conditions for the airport duty-free contract winner. These are just a few examples of the military government’s strategy to benefit a tiny rich elite while ignoring the general population. The Army’s recent purchase of the second-hand M-1126 Stryker personnel carriers, and Thai Airways’ plan to buy new planes despite massive financial losses, are the most recent proof of this strategy.
Some news media see Prayut as an unselfish saviour of the nation, but many see him as an emotional and incompetent man with no integrity and an overwhelming hunger for power. The people will learn a painful truth if Thailand survives the Prayut administration. The Future Forward Party may just sit back in opposition and use the time to educate the people that a good democratic government is government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Time is still on our side, as the new Prayut government will not last long without the support of the dictatorial Article 44 and NCPO-junta. It will likely be torn apart by the demands of the old-style politicians now horse trading for top Cabinet positions.