Political circles in Thailand have been busy discussing the results of a recent ABAC poll that revealed that almost 2 in 3 voters were prepared to sell their votes. The poll, which surveyed almost 0.006% of the national population and was conducted in 19% of the kingdom's provinces, also found that over 4 in 5 voters would not report cases of vote-buying to the authorities.
The offer from the European Union to observe the forthcoming Thai elections has been finally rejected. The reasons given in the media range from Thai outrage at the implied slur on the integrity of Thai elections, to legalistic problems with a constitutional article on signing agreements which infringe national sovereignty.
Prachatai today prints the first of a weekly column by Harrison George. Bangkokians with long memories may remember his irreverent column in The Nation in the 1980's. During his period of enforced silence since then, he was variously reported as participating in a 999-day meditation retreat in a hill-top monastery in Mae Hong Son (he gave up after 998 days), as the Special Rapporteur for Satire of the UN High Commission for Human Rights, and as understudy for the male lead in the long-running ‘Pussies -not the Musical' at the Neasden International Palladium (formerly Park Lane Empire). And if you believe any of those stories, you might believe his columns.