Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bangkok Post: Big Bung Dictates that Next Election Will Be Thaksinista-Free

Sonthi orders poll crusade

Interior told to prevent Thaksin allies winning


Deputy Prime Minister Sonthi Boonyaratkalin flexed his muscles yesterday by ordering the Interior Ministry to mobilise its grassroots mechanisms to prevent politicians loyal to ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra returning to politics after the election scheduled for Dec 23. His announcement was interpreted by observers as an attempt by the ministry, under Gen Sonthi's supervision, to play a greater role in overseeing the poll to prevent Thaksin allies from winning.

Earlier, the ministry was seen as taking a back seat to the army, which played a major role in pushing for the military-backed draft constitution to be endorsed at the referendum on Aug 19.

There was strong opposition in the referendum to the draft charter, especially in areas under the influence of Mr Thaksin's dissolved Thai Rak Thai party in the North and Northeast.

''The Interior Ministry has a duty to bring about national reconciliation to prevent national crisis. If there are mistakes in this election, the [vicious] cycle will return,'' he told officials during a briefing at the ministry. Gen Sonthi, when he was the army chief, engineered the military coup that ousted Mr Thaksin from power on Sept 19 last year.

He said diverse groups with differing opinions had emerged in society and the ministry's administrative mechanisms at the grassroots levels such as tambon and village heads must take a leading role in educating people about the importance of national interests that must come before self-interest.

''This will bring the public to their senses and help them decide who they should or should not vote for,'' Gen Sonthi said, adding that provincial governors must be in charge of the campaign to educate people in their provinces about the downside of vote-buying and to persuade them to vote for good people.

Sometimes when I read stuff like this it really creeps me out. Anywhere else in the civilized world, if an official said something like this, he or she would be run out of office in disgrace.

What Sonthi just said is what officials in totalitarian societies do to keep themselves in power. General Sonthi announces his true intentions for the whole world to see, but not a peep from anybody.

I don't know how any foreign government can believe that the next election will be free and fair after Sonthi has made this statement.

1 comment:

Red and White said...

Agreed it is a disgrace. I say this so many times but it's because I believe it is so important:

The only people who can give the likes of Sonthi, corrupt and useless politicians and the rest of these officials the backlash they deserve is the people.

Until they do that, their intelligence will continue to be insulted with behavior like this.