Poll without people power holds no promise

Poll without people power holds no promise

The military conducted a strategic retreat when P-Move came to Bangkok, not to make new demands, but to force state authorities to fulfil old promises. (Reuters photo)
The military conducted a strategic retreat when P-Move came to Bangkok, not to make new demands, but to force state authorities to fulfil old promises. (Reuters photo)

After four years of heavy-handed repression, why has the military government suddenly softened its stance with grassroots and civil society movements? The answer is in the front-page photo of every newspaper on Tuesday.

Looking triumphant in the packed sports stadium in Buri Ram, Prime Minister and junta leader Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha was busy wooing support from the Buri Ram kingpin and former leader of the Bhumjaithai Party as he showered the locals with development budget promises.

No matter how you look at it, it was a campaign trail funded by taxpayers.

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Sanitsuda Ekachai

Former editorial pages editor

Sanitsuda Ekachai is a former editorial pages editor. She writes on human rights, gender, and Thai Buddhism.

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