National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)
Various civil society workers have vowed not to legitimise the military government by cooperating with it, saying the junta’s national strategic plan favours only investors. On 20 November 2017, 72 civil society development workers issued a joint statement vowing not to legitimise the military government by taking part in any mechanisms of the regime.
In what follows below, I offer a concise picture of the dynamics and significance of Article 112 over the preceding decade. Some of the sources cannot be fully cited as it may harm those who provided information or defendants in ongoing cases.
Amid rumours that the junta will form its own political party to compete in the political arena, the human rights advocacy group iLaw points out that the regime does not need to form a party to prolong its rule. According to iLaw, under the new political system, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) does not need to establish a political party to prolong its rule. It can instead rely on the senate.
The deputy junta head has announced that the regime will set up its own political party if it is ‘necessary’. On 6 November 2017, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, the deputy junta head and Defence Minister, told media that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) will establish a political party if it is ‘necessary’, according to Voice TV. Responded to the question whether the NCPO could confirm that it would not form a political party, he said he would not be involved.
The chairman of the junta’s Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has dismissed nepotism accusations after the appointment of his daughter as his deputy secretary raised many eyebrows. On 30 October 2017, the Royal Gazette published National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No. 6/2017 on the re-appointment of 34 officials working for the NCPO. One is Mayura Shuangshoti, daughter of Meechai Ruchuphan, chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), as a deputy secretary to her father.
The authorities are still pushing an energy policy that ignores local interests and the environment, even after February protests temporarily halted a coal-fired power station in Krabi.
The military prosecutor has dismissed political charges against a former lèse majesté convict accused of defying a junta order. Bangkok Military Court on 16 October 2017 held a deposition hearing for Pruetnarin (surname withheld due to privacy concerns), a 30-year-old who was previously sentenced to 14 years and 10 months imprisonment for lèse majesté.
The general who led the 2006 coup has called on the current junta to stick to the election roadmap. On 1 October 2017, Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin, the leader of the 2006 coup, invited top military leaders to his 71st birthday celebration at his residence at the 11th Infantry Regiment King’s Guard in Bangkok, the Thai News Agency reported.
On May 22, 2014 the Thai military, led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha, staged a coup d’état to end several months of political and civil chaos in Thailand. At its very basic level, the chaos was caused by an on-going conflict between the so-called ‘red-shirts’, followers of the government of Yingluck Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai party and comprising the rural voters forming a majority of the electorate, and the ‘yellow-shirts’, an alliance between the military, the Thai elite, and the middle-class Democrat party of Abhisit Vejjajiva with a strong following in Bangkok.
My name is Atipong Pathanasethpong and I am the Spokesperson for the Project for a Social Democracy. You may have heard of my colleague at the Project for a Social Democracy, John Draper, the PhD student in Public Affairs Management at Khon Kaen University in Northeast Thailand who just over week ago offered to organize a mass surrender to the Thai authorities for attending the International Conference on Thai Studies in Chiang Mai, in solidarity with five academics and students charged with illegal political assembly there.