As His Majesty King Rama 10 has said, Thailand is “a land of compromise.” Therefore, there will be a compromise. After all, to rule effectively is to keep the masses content and grateful.
Thailand will see the deletion of the 250 junta-appointed senators’ power to elect the prime minister directly.
Hence, we would have the system of one person/one vote (or the facade of it).
The question is when.
The answer is, study the past, and we will understand the present, thereby having the tools to analyze what the future holds.
Following the 2014 military coup by General Prayut, the entire Kingdom of Thailand knew we would return to a general election. Such is the way things are done in Thailand.
Keep up the facade of democracy to pacify the masses and appease the global community.
This is how it works.
As per custom, the people expected an election a year later. Instead, it took over five years. Why so long?
Because the new constitution had to be fine-tuned to guarantee favorable election results, laws written to ensure the staying power of the Prayut Regime, and political networks b[r]ought into the fold in order to win the general election.
Palang Pracharat Party won the most popular votes but didn’t win the most MP seats. Nonetheless, they came second. More than enough that when putting the 250 junta-appointed senators into play, it was a forgone conclusion.
Thus, the so-called compromise between the military and the people. “There you go, half-a-democracy, Thai style. Now, let’s move on with our lives.”
But the people refuse to move on.
They want an actual democracy. At the very least, equal votes. Hence, the protests Thailand has witnessed over these past months.
So there will be another compromise, because again, to rule effectively is to keep the masses content and grateful, or at the very least, achieve grudging acceptance of “the way it is.”
General Prayut will agree to delete the power of the 250 junta-appointed senators. When? The same theory ahead of the 2019 election applies.
When the groundworks have been laid to guarantee the staying power of the Prayut Regime.
The upcoming municipal elections are the testing ground.
Thailand’s future won’t be decided in debate shows or street protests. It’s the elections (and, of course, military coups).
This is why the Progressive Movement has been active in campaigning in the upcoming municipal elections. It’s also why the Prayut Regime has been aggressive in derailing their campaign.
Case in point: the Election Commission (EC) is going after the Progressive Movement for its “illegal” actions in political campaigning.
As the saying goes: Prayut can do no wrong; Thanathorn can do no right.
A resounding victory in municipal elections is key.
It would tell General Prayut that his regime’s power is cemented in Thailand’s mafia-esque political landscape. Therefore, he can “safely” give the people the compromise. Delete the senators’ power to elect the prime minister directly.
After all, constitutionally, the senators are in play for eight years anyway, which means one more general election. A compromise would mean to end that senators’ power one election earlier.
But the people, at least those who want democracy, won’t be content or grateful.
Because again, the game is rigged.
Also, there’s a catch.
This compromise won’t happen unless the people can keep up the pressure in street protests.
Furthermore, it won’t happen unless opposition parties, namely Pheu Thai and Move Forward, can pressure the parliament and swing senatorial votes.