I wanted to wait before speaking about the new “scandal” : the rules announced last week by the Electoral Commission…
As usual, it’s better to wait for a while, for the drama to unfold…
So what all the fuss is about ?
The EC has enacted a totally insane (stupid, grotesque, hilarious, tragic you choose) set of rules, regarding the organization of the elections, how the medias can handle the campaign, the ways the political parties have to organize their campaign, etc.
For instance (just a quote) :
“Strictly read, no newspaper, broadcaster or internet blogger could mention one party without mentioning all. A printed or broadcast interview with one candidate on the election trail would be illegal unless all candidates in the same election got the same type of interview. A commentator cannot recommend a candidate for her honesty, say _ or point out the graft allegations against her.” (read the editorial of Bangkok Post)
If you want to laugh more, you’ll find other details “rule prohibiting news agencies, educational institutions and private organisations from organising public discussion forums without permission from the EC” (Nation).
Another one : parties can’t choose themselves the location to organize a meeting or a rallye. And all campaign billboards and posters could be set up only in spots designated by the EC…
And : “The EC said parties could address the public from trucks but would not be allowed to park permanently in one spot. “
Should we be surprised ? No. This is Thailand. And this is Thailand ruled by a bunch of generals.
Basically, one year and half ago, for the april 2006 elections (after the dissolution) the EC was the tool of Thaksin, working with absolute no shame for him (some of its members went to prison after by the way).
And now… you can just change the label : the so called independent EC is working without any shame for the generals, supporting their obsession to close the doors to Thaksin, and following their own agenda for power.
However, the EC has a good way of defense : “why politicians refuse the rules now, when they didn’t oppose them during our meetings ?”
Indeed, that’s a good question.
Maybe, at that time, the representants of political parties were sleeping or typing SMS on their phone. They were not listening
Or maybe, they didn’t understand immediatly. Who knows ? Nobody knows. And it’s not important.
Second way of defense from the EC : “we set those rules in order to insure a fair and transparent elections, to insure that all the parties, big and small, are treated equitably without discrimination, to reduce the risk of vote buying etc. “.
We could almost cry in front of such display of commitment and democratic virtues.
Of course, it’s nothing less than bullshit.
They don’t give a rat about small parties, or the elections process in a whole.
The only aim is to control, delete, reduce, lower the impact of the campaign of the PPP (a revival of Thaksin’s old party TRT) in order to avoid at all cost its probable electoral victory (in the north and north east regions).