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Thai Commander in Chief on Facebook

10/01/2014

The Thai Commander-in Chief has commented on his Facebook page that the army is remaining neutral but will carry out its duty to protect the public. Actually, both the police and the military already have that duty.

Yingluck has been reluctant to use stronger tactics for fear of inciting more violence though she has called on the army to protect voters during the elections. There has been criticism of incitement from the anti-government side headed by Suthep. The opposition party leader, Abhisit, has condemned the violence but has not been proactive in dealing with it. He called for a boycott of the elections and supports the setting up of an appointed council of “good men” to initially run the country. In November 2012 Pitak Siam advocated a similar temporary suspension of elected governments.

General Prayuth went on to say that the army will not take sides nor interfere with the rights of the people. 

The general admitted there were problems with corruption, the exercise of power by the state, and the enforcement of the law. That is not fresh information and is a recurrent problem in Thailand. It was ever thus.

The army presence in the capital continues. The manoeuvres coincide with National Children’s Day but is also being seen as a show of strength during the present conflict. 

As of today, elections called for 2 February  are still going ahead, with the opposition party boycotting the polls. The Bangkok Shutdown planned by the protesters to start on Monday will still take place.

The more likely scenarios are:

1. Shortly before the election date, the government will be ousted on a technicality (much like the “cooking show” coup against Samak in August 2008) and the opposition party will be installed by default.

2. The election will be held, Yingluck will be returned, but will then be ousted for a technical reason

3. Her party will be in power but the opposition will continue its tactics of undermining it, making effective government difficult or impossible. We may then see a repeat of the present situation.

 

 

 

 

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