Thirayuth: Regime has 'plot to cling to power'

Thirayuth: Regime has 'plot to cling to power'

Social critic Thirayut Boonmee speaks to the press at the October 14 Memorial in Bangkok on Monday. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)
Social critic Thirayut Boonmee speaks to the press at the October 14 Memorial in Bangkok on Monday. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)

The rich and the powerful will continue to rule Thailand and Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha will be the next prime minister, as the regime plans, but will come under pressure, social critic Thirayuth Boonmee forewarned on Monday.

Speaking at the October 14 Memorial commemorating the 1973 revolution, Mr Thirayuth said Thais are too obsessed with political problems to realise they face other, more fundamental, issues  -- inequality, poor education, widespread corruption, and economic monopoly by large groups of capitalists.

He likened Thai people to chickens in farms where they were under control from birth to death.

Mr Thirayuth said Thailand's great income gap resulted in the rich gaining unlimited wealth and part of the middle class joining the low class.

Over the past decade, about 10 large groups of capitalists had been formed and they controlled most key economic sectors and politics, he said.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) had long planned to prolong its hold on power by allowing political parties to nominate outsiders as prime ministerial candidates, having 250 military-appointed senators with the right to vote for the prime minister, and by gathering political factions into the Palang Pracharath Party. All without caring about any criticism.

This guaranteed there was a very big chance of Gen Prayut remaining the prime minister after the general election, Mr Thirayuth said.

Thai politics would be democracy under the influence of the military, government officials, the intellectual elite and large groups of capitalists, he said.

"Gen Prayut will be able to form the next government but with a low legitimacy, because the mutual benefits gained by the military, government officials, conservatives and large capitalist groups will become  gradually clearer," Mr Thirayuth said.

Without electoral fraud or accusations of fraud, people would accept the next government of Gen Prayut,  but he would be under pressure from other political parties, power groups and the voice of the people, the social critic said.

If grave corruption emerges, the next government will be short-lived, he said.

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