Thaksin shifts puppets

The last time a coup
leader became PM
after a return to

Prem Tinsulanonda in Context


Who will come crawling?

Who will come

Analysis: Thailand’s Half Democracy

Analysis: Thailand’s
half democracy

Do all Thai roads
lead to Singapore?

The Missing Marker & Thai Democracy

The missing marker &
Thai democracy

How many died in the Thai drug purges?

How many died in the Thai drug purges?

Black May 1992

Remembering the Red Shirt protests of 2010

Remembering the Red Shirt protests of 2010

Remembering the checks & balances of the 1997 charter

Remembering the checks & balances of the 1997 charter

During Red Shirt rally, Thaksin kids withdraw 10 billion baht

During Red Shirt rally, Thaksin kids withdraw 10 billion baht

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Goodbye to Cartoonist Chai

From Thairath, June 3, 2019
Chai: Life is a journey. To get off at some stations does not mean to end the journey.
It is just a separation to find another way in the big world. It may be lonely but challenging.
Phuyai Ma and his friends in Thung Ma Meon village would like to say goodbye and will not forget all the gratitude received from all of you.
Good for now, but not forever.
At right Phuyai Ma: …Goodbye. If you have a chance, we will meet each other again… [lyrics from a famous song]
On the sign: Bangkok

[Refers to famous political cartoonist Chai Ratchwat who recently decided to stop his long-time political cartoon column titled “Phuyai Ma Kap Thung Ma Moen” which was published in Thairath.
“Phuayi” is a position equivalent with the head of the village.]

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Principles distinguish a human from a cockroach

From Manager, June 6, 2019
Caption: Principles… distinguish a human from a cockroach.

[Refer to former Democrat Party leader Abhisit who resigned from as an MP rather than have to break his party’s pledge and support junta chief Prayuth to remain as PM.
The Democrat Party has been derided as a party of cockroaches as the party has been able to survive in every political climate and government often taking advantage of the misfortunes of other political groupings.
The cartoonist lauds Abhisit for sticking to his pledge while the rest of the party members rush to support the junta.]

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Beating Opponents

From Thairath, June 5, 2019
Title: Cruel power helps support the illegal power [meaning beatings of anti-military activists is used to keep the military in power]
On the man’s shirt who is being beaten: Ja New [an anti-junta activist]
Officer at left: He [Ja New] is not afraid of being charged [for his political activity], so go ahead and hit him on the head… [the officer’s face is hidden to indicate that the authorities are conspiring to levy false charges at anti-military activists; the officer says that since they cannot intimidate Ja New with charges they will have to physically attack him]
On the paper held by him: Giving charges to be jailed
Papers on the floor: [left] Political activist. Democracy [right] Call the senators to stop voting for the PM. Justice.
Phi Nooring: It’s considered as the world’s brutal city.
Mouse: Followers of the dictator.

[Refers to political activist Sirawith Seritiwat (known as Ja New) who was attacked by unknown persons in a probable case of political intimidation.
He and other campaigners called on appointed senators not to vote for Prayuth as the next prime minister. Anti-junta groups believe that the military is behind acttacks on political activists.]

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Fighting for seats

From Thairath, June 12, 2019
Title: Give muzzles to each of them.
Left: Negotiate for seats for benefits [meaning parties are trying to get important positions in government to benefit themselves and their cronies]
Right: Compete for positions for their groups
Phi Nooring: Our seats, no one can steal [meaning that the prospective ministers are greedy and want important government positions]
Mouse: Facebook war.

[Refers to the coalition parties which are fiercely competing and negotiating for the positions in the new governments. Many of them have used social media as a tool to fight each other.]

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Napoleon pig… is in every era

From Manager June 4, 2019
Title: Napoleon pig… is in every era.
Left to right showing Thaksin. Prayuth, and Thanathorn: Past; Present; Future

[Refers to George Orwell’s famous book ‘Animal Farm’ which PM Prayuth suggested for people to read in order to understand the Thai political situation.
In the story, Napoleon is the more-equal-then-others pig who emerges as the leader of all animals after a rebellion.
The cartoonist contends that when a person from either the elections or a coup has power, they can be become dictator using all their means to protect their power. He suggests that no only did Thaksin and Prayuth become dictators, but that Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn with his bold promises of “Stopping, Cleansing, Destroying” will be the dictator of the future.
On the right, Thanathorn uses the three finger salute which comes from the “Hunger Games” films.]

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Last minute wooing

From Manager, May 29, 2019
PM Prayuth: Tomorrow, I will send my matchmaker to send a tray of gifts to you.
Caption: Almost about to give birth, and only then just making a marriage proposal.

[Refers the attempt of the pro-junta party Palang Pracharath to form a coalition government. Only a few days before the voting for PM, the Palang Pracharath party’s representatives visited the kingmaker parties–the Bhumjaithai Party led by Anuthin [here depicted as pregnant] and the Democrat Party to invite them to join their coalition government and vote for PM Prayuth to remain PM. The ridicules the venal, last-minute negotiation between the coalition partners in the last minutes before voting.]

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Chuan rolls out the red carpet for the junta

From Thairath, May 28, 2019
Title: An honored job for a person who trusts in the parliamentary system. [this is a sarcastic dig at Chuan Leepai rolling out a carpet for the junta chief to remain in power]
On the chair: PM who continues in power
Democrat leader Abhisit as the hooded figure of death: We want to break our promise for the country.

[Refers to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai from the Democrat Party. He took the post of house speaker which will be critical in maintaining control of the body and smooth the way for the military to maintain control of politics.
This cartoon ridicules the Democrat Party for breaking their promise by joining the pro-junta party Palang Pracharath Party to form the government.
At the bottom left is a tribute to Privy Council president and statesman Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda.]

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Goodbye, Prem

From Manager, May 28, 2019
Title: “I’m enough.” [meaning something like “I’m done (with the job)” or “my task is complete.”]
[Refers to Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, the Privy Council president and statesman who died of heart failure at the age of 98. He was closely linked to the military and monarchy, a trusted advisor to the late King Bhumipol and a symbol of Thailand’s hybrid system of “guided democracy.” His last work was to ensure a smooth power transfer from the previous king to the current one.
He passed away after the new King’s coronation in early May seeming to signal that his life’s work was complete.]

From Thairath, May 29, 2019
Left: R.I.P. A good man of the country.
Right: Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda. B.E.2463-2562
On a sign held by a mouse: Forgiveness
[Another tribute to Privy Council president and statesman Gen Prem Tinsulanonda. According to Buddhist teaching, people need to forgive other in order to dismiss anger and resentment. Thais say “forgiveness” to someone who passes away in order to end all the bad things both parties did to each other in past.
In this case the cartoonist is pro-Thaksin/pro-Red Shirt and has long blamed Prem for Thaksin’s ouster, thus the necessity to forgive and forget.]

Also: Prem Tinsulanonda in Context

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Wan Ubumrung has an equal

From Manager, May 23, 2019
Wan: Do you know who I am the son of?
Monkolkit: Then, do you know… where I graduated?
Caption: Finally Wan can find the same-level MP

[Refers to the Pheu Thai party’s MP Wan Ubumrung (left), son of former Deputy PM Chalerm Ubumrung. He is known with his aggressive and bullying character. (Many, many more references to the colorful Ubumrung family are here.)
In the cartoon he uses the saying his younger brother made famous and which was used when picking fights with others.
On the right is the Thai Civilized Party’s leader Mongkolkit Suksin-tharanon whose party was one of the micro-parties supporting Palang Pracharath to form the government.
Like Wan Ubumrung, Mongkolkit is an aggressive and show-off personality and got in trouble after he gave a media interview in which he said his former school was plagued by drugs and hooligans. Many alumni protested and demanded an apology from him as his interview damaged school’s reputation.]

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The Avengers go after the pro-junta party

From Thairath, May 20, 2019
Title: Avengers
On Thanos’ back: PPRP [the pro-junta party]
On his hand: Succeed the power [meaning the junta is continuing their hold on power via this party]
On Hulk’s chest: Dissolve the party [referring the Pheu Thai calls for the PPRP to be disbanded]
On Captain America’s shield: Samut Prakan
On Iron Man’s chest: Reuangkrai
Above his hand: Violate election law

[In the cartoon, the Avengers are Pheu Thai Party members such as Reuangkrai and Prasert (known as Dr. Jo) who is a member of parliament from Samut Prakarn province.
This illustrates the Pheu Thai Party’s attempt to strike back at the junta with charges that call for the voiding of the election or the disbanding of the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) over alleged election law violations.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Her Majesty Queen’s birthday, June, 2019

From Manager Weekly, June 1-7, 2019
Main cover reads: Long Live the Queen. [Refers to the celebration of Her Majesty Queen Suthida’s birthday on June 3. His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn named her as his Queen on May 1.]
Bottom left: “Our duty in life is to repay the motherland.” Well-respected Privy Council “Pa Prem”
[Refers to Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, the Privy Council president and statesman, who passed away due to heart failure on May 26 at the age of 98. The quote is a famous saying by Prem.]
Middle: Democrat-Palang Pracharath Count down for the end.
[Refers to the formation of a coalition led by pro-junta party Palang Pracharath to form the government. The Democrat Party disappointed its supporters after breaking its promise not to join the pro-junta groups.]

From Matichon Weekly, June 1-6, 2019
[Image celebrating Her Majesty Queen Suthida’s birthday on June 3.]

From Lokwannee, June 1-7, 2019
Main cover reads: When it comes to breeding season
Left: Keep raising the price. They really want it. No matter what, they will accept it.
Right: Really?
[Refers to two king-maker parties Bhumjaithai and the Democrats. The cover ridicules the bargaining that is going on as these two minor parties that failed in the elections by winning very few seats are now able to drive hard bargains with the junta to join their coalition. The cover imagines the parties as prostitutes that must be paid for their services.]

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Thanathorn got his mom in trouble

From Manager, May 20, 2019
Reporters: Mrs. Somporn… We want to know the name of person from the Palang Pracharath Party who called you to attract 20 MPs. Please disclose the name.
Caption: This time, a son gets his mom in trouble.

[Refers to the Future Forward Party’s leader Thanathorn who is under intense pressure over charges that appear to disqualify him from office.
In an attempt to hit back at the junta, he disclosed in front of the media that someone from the Palang Pracharath Party called his mother Somporn asking for 20 MPs from his anti-junta party to support the Palang Pracharath in forming a government with the junta.
However, subsequent inquiries into this claim seemed to indicate it was a spur-of-the-moment quip made under pressure and that there was no evidence to support it.]

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Put in a basket and wash

From Matichon Weekly, May 17-23, 2019
Title: Put in a basket and wash
On the arm: Palang Pracharath [the pro-junta party]

[Refers to Thai proverb “put in the basket and wash” meaning to clean up something dirty to become fresh or new.
This cartoon implies that PM Prayuth is being changed from an outright dictator to a democratically elected leader through the new government led by the Palang Pracharath.]

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I’m with Pom!

From Manager, May 16, 2019
Title: Friends of Chok must step to the left.
On the men’s backs: I’m a friend of Pom. [nickname of Deputy PM Prawit]
On the sign above the entrance door: Place for 250 senators to report

[Refers to the 250 appointed senators–a third of which who are directly linked to the military and police. This appointed senate will vote with elected MPs to choose the PM thus muting the impact of populist candidates.
The cartoon jokes about the case of a man who violated the law. He threatened the police by saying he was a friend of “Mr. Chok” who was a head of the police in that area.
However, Mr. Chok is a very minor ally next to the ally of the appointed senators. Many of them have close ties with the junta–particularly with Deputy PM Prawit.
“Must step to the left” is an idiom meaning to surrender to others. So, one must step aside to let other moves pass. In this case the “friends of Chok” must give way for the “friends of Pom” (meaning Deputy PM Prawit).]

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Don’t help them form a government!

From Thairath, May 15, 2019
Title: Whoever please help paddle the boat [meaning that the junta is inviting any party who is willing to join the government]
On the gangsters’ shirts, left to right: Cheat on investigation [referring to cases that are impacting the anti-junta Future Forward Party]; Cheat on the vote [refers to allegations of voting irregularities]; Cheat on the power [refers to the military that seized power in a coup]
On two men’s shirts on the dock: MPs; Political parties
Phi Nooring: Overthrow the boat? [the boat is common canal boat which can easily be swamped in rough waters]
Mouse: Know which is good and bad.

[Refers to the junta and his party allies which are trying to form a government. This cartoon warns the politicians and political parties not to support those groups who trying to take advantage of the power of the ruling junta to be part of government.]

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To disclose is the Key, To Conceal is the Exemption

Some Orwellian English from the header of the OIC website: To disclose is the Key, To Conceal is the Exemption

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The best man for the job is…

From Manager, May 15, 2019
On the sign: Democrat party
Caption: Look inside this party and only this man is… suitable

[Refers to the election of the Democrat Party’s new leader. This cartoon shows the party’s respectable and powerful member Korn Chatikavanij standing in the middle. Unfortunately, he failed in the election to Jurin Laksanavisit.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Thanathorn switched off, May, 2019

From Manager Weekly, May 25-31, 2019
Main cover reads: It’s not done yet, sir.
[Refers to the two kingmakers parties–the Democrats led by new leader Jurin (left) and the Bhumjaithai party led by Anutin (right).
Although the Palang Pracharath party should be able to form a government with the help of these two parties through the support of former veteran politician Newin (middle), the future of this government is still unstable.
There are many issues, especially the allocation of the government positions to ensure support for PM Prayuth to be the PM again.]

Top: “Tycoon Eak” Money lender “darkness future” [orange] The Court accepts the “media shareholding case” causing a stop of being “MP.” Watch out for the “mob” #StandWithThanathorn
[Refers to the Future Forward Party’s leader Thanathorn who has been suspended his MP position after the court accepted his media shareholding allegation. He also may face another charge of giving a loan to his party which violates the Political Party Act.
The headline notes that his supporters who use the hashtag ”#StandWithThanathorn may come out an protest this sidelining of Thanathorn. Thanathorn’s nickname is “Eak.”]

Bottom Left: “Cannes” Everyone can go.
[Refers to the Cannes film festival. There was a controversial case on who can really attend this event as many Thai actresses and celebrities recently attended.]

Bottom right: Wash up the brutal sport MMA boxing to “Olympic”
[Refers to an attempt to push mixed martial arts to become part of the Olympic Games.]

From Lokwannee, May 24-31, 2019
Main cover reads: Stop crowding the sails for the pirate.

[Refers to an attempt to form the government by pro-junta party Palang Pracharath. This cartoon makes fun of the compromises the junta has to make to get the support of the Bhumjaithai Party and the Democrat Party, including embracing Bhumjaithai’s proposal to legalize marijuana. The Democrat Party symbol is on the top sail.
This pro-Thaksin/pro-Red Shirt publication calls the new government a pirate since it is preventing the Pheu Thai–which won more MP seats–from forming a government.]

From Matichon Weekly, May 24-30, 2019
Main cover reads: Turn off the switch, but still “lighten”

[Refers to the Future Forward Party’s leader Thanathorn who has been suspended from being a MP due to allegations of holding the media shares while a candidate. The headline means that Thanathorn announced he would work outside of parliament to help the people who vote for him despite being barred from being an MP.]

Top: Keep fingers crossed for a miracle. Keep an eye on the Democrat Party with a dilemma either to rebuild the party or decline.
[Refers to the situation of the Democrat Party under new leader Jurin Laksanavisit (pictured). After its historic election defeat, many predicted that the Democrats were finished as a party. However, the Democrats ended up a critical kingmaker in the new government indicating predictions of their demise might be premature.]

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Danger for the junta

From Naewna, May 13, 2019
Crocodile: Don’t worry, sir. I’m not hungry now.
On his back: Government with above-water level seats
Caption: Can either float or drown

[Refers to the Palang Pracharath and its coalition parties which wish to form a government and support Prayuth to cintinue to be the PM. This cartoon points out that the coalition will be unstable and that the junta will have give up a lot to its coalition partners for the government to remain intact.]

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Who came crawling after all?

Above: Who Will Come Crawling? From Manager, April 8, 2018

As many predicted, the Democrats went back on Abhisit’s pledge never to join with the present junta in a government. Abhisit’s pledge was essentially a guarantee that the Democrats would be in the opposition since they also refused to join a Phea Thai pro-Thaksin alliance.

We are reminded of the above cartoon from early last year that predicted that the junta and Democrats would have to become allies sooner or later.

Post-election media reports largely advised that the poor showing of the Democrats indicated their irrelevance as a party. However, the Democrats ended up being the critical kingmakers (along with the Bhumjaithai) in deciding whether pro-Thaksin or pro-military parties would rule the country.

From the plumb cabinet posts the Democrats (as well as the Bhumjaithai) are rumored to have secured for themselves, it seems it was junta who had to crawl to ensure continued control of the country and shut Thaksin out of power.

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Prem Tinsulanonda in Context

Above: From Thairath, April 22, 2012

2019, Bloomberg – Royal Aide Accused of Plotting Thai Coup on Thaksin Dies at 98
…More than 100,000 pro-Thaksin supporters rallied outside of Prem’s house in 2009 to demand that he step down from the king’s Privy Council, saying he engineered the former leader’s ouster in 2006. Prem had denied involvement in the coup, which has destabilized Thai politics ever since… [Perhaps they are confusing the attempted raid on Prem’s residence in 2007 with the first Red Shirt siege of Bangkok in 2009 when Red Shirt leaders demanded the Privy Council be replaced with Red Shirt people’s representatives.]

Prem Tinsulanonda (1920 – 2019)

As the international media repeats Thaksin’s accusations that Prem caused recent coups while also implying that opposing Thaksin equates to being opposed to democracy, it might be time to reflect on a more nuanced view of both recent events as well as Prem’s legacy during his rule as prime minister in the 1980’s.

2005 – Privy Councillor Prem accuses Thaksin of employing “double standards” and Thaksin’s response

2005 – A tale of two newspapers: Privy Councillor Prem “rebukes” Thaksin

2007 – Surprise strike attacking Prem’s residence

2007 – Linking Prem to coup is irrelevant
An editorial from The Nation positing that the coup happened because of Thaksin’s actions.

2009 – Red Shirt publications, from the mainstream to the most radical, constantly attacked Prem as their greatest enemy

In 2012, while Red Shirt media was ramping up attacks on Prem and insinuating Thailand was now ripe for a communist revolution, then Prime Minister Yingluck publicly visited Prem in an attempt at reconciliation:
February, 2012 – Govt moves to keep Prem on side amid shaky times
May, 2012 – Red Power: Prem Named as Coup Leader & Unity Under Communism
Red Shirt faithful reacted in horror when Yingluck was sent to fawningly greet Prem in 2012 (Yingluck attempts detente with Privy Council President Prem and Editorial cartoons: Yingluck Sent to Honor Prem)
April, 2012 – Editorial cartoon: How to Explain the Prem Meeting to the Red Shirts
May, 2012 – Editorial cartoon: What Yingluck and Prem talked about

October, 2012 – Editorial cartoon: Prem Attacks the Government

May, 2015 – Thaksin also blamed Prem for the 2014 coup

December, 2016 – Editorial cartoon: Thaksin’s nightmare: He still can’t get rid of Prem

I always receive buckets of hate emails as well as attacks on the site when I dare to re-post these three links, but here we go again:

1. Analysis: Thailand’s Half Democracy
This is a description of Prem’s time as Prime Minister. This period of time is also the inspiration for Thailand’s present “half democracy.”

2. Also see Do all Thai roads lead to Singapore? for more context on the distrust of democracy.

3. The Roots of the Thai Political Crisis: Thaksin as Prime Minister

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Filling the senate

From Thairath, May 7, 2019
Title: Acrobatic tactics on changing seats
Phi Nooring: Thai-style performance [meaning vested interests and corrupt motives are common in Thailand]
Mouse: No. 1 in the world
Chairs and papers at left from front to back: Ministers, [on the paper] Politicians’ quota; State Enterprise’s board, [on the paper] Politicians’ reserves; NLA, [on the paper] give to the MPs
Papers on the floor from left to right: [Got their] Position from the coup, [Got their] Position from alliance-appointment
Chairs on the right: Senate
Paper held by Deputy PM Prawit at bottom right: 250 Senators

[This refers to the appointment of 250 senators. They are dominated by the military as many of them came from the military while others used to work with or have a good relationship with the junta.
Thus, the new senate, which also votes for the prime minister, is criticized as being a puppet to maintain the junta’s power.]

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What is needed to ruin the Future Forward Party?

From Naewna, May 7, 2019
Left, Piyabutr Saengkanokkul: If the leader has a long vision, he will not use the law as a tool to eliminate his political enemies.
Right panel at top: 20 years is long enough, bro…
On the arrow: 20-year national strategic plan
Words above the envelope: Transfer media stocks

[Refers to the recent election and the attempt of the junta led by PM Prayut to maintain power. The junta’s 20-year national strategic plan has been criticized for preventing political parties from implementing their own plans once elected.
Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn is facing several charges including whether he was able to transfer media shares from his name before becoming a candidate. The party’s secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul is also facing charges apparently designed to ruin the Future Forward Party’s ability to be part of a government.
The cartoonist, a strong supporter of the junta and opponent of Thaksin and his Red Shirts, is happy about the plight of the Future Forward Party leaders and hopes that the junta’s 20-year plan will permanently freeze them out of power.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Coronation, May, 2019

From Manager Weekly, May 11-17, 2019
Main cover reads: I will continue, preserve, and build upon the royal legacy, and to reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the people forever.”

[This is a quote from King Rama X’s speech on his coronation on May 4, 2019.]

From Matichon Weekly, May 10-16, 2019

[Photo of the first public appearance of the King Rama X after his coronation. The King and the Queen, as well as his family, appeared to thousands of people waiting to greet him.]

From Lokwannee, May 10-16, 2019
Main cover reads: A cobra is not dangerous like a green snake

[Thai political slang designates many politicians as “cobra” meaning they easy betray their party to switch to political alliances. As there is very little ideology in Thai politics, there is little beyond self-interest and the desire to be part of a sitting government to keep MPs aligned to any one party.
The cartoonist contrasts these “cobra politicians” with “a green snake” meaning the military, symbolized here as being an old-fashioned thinking dinosaur. The military is accused of pressuring MPs and parties to join its government–thus creating the “green snakes.”]

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Heaven vs Hell

From Manager, May 7, 2019
Left: Three days admiring heaven.
Right: It’s time to come back to watch the hell.

[The cartoonist (who presents himself and another cartoonist in caricature in the left panel) contrasts the orderly pageantry of the 3-day royal coronation with the ongoing political battle to form the next government in the right panel.
This demonstrates a common Thai conception that tends to denigrate democracy as an untoward process dominated by venal people who are only acting for their vested interests.]

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Thanathorn must learn from Thaksin

From Manager, May 2, 2019
Thaksin: If you didn’t show off… and instead gave an excuse such as “wrongdoing without intention…” then it would end… you won’t face an attack… or being exposed like this… Thai people are easily fooled…!
Caption: Your idol needs to teach you today.

[Refers to Future Forward party’s leader Thanathorn who faces a share-violation claim that could disqualify him as a politician.
The cartoon ridicules him as he seems to have provided unclear or even incriminating information which has caused the local media to further investigate the case rather than focusing mainly in the ruling junta for its blatant attempts to disqualify him.
In the cartoon Thaksin tells Thanathorn that he should have instead followed his example, as when Thaksin famously defended his illegal acts by saying “I did something wrong, but did so without ill-intention.” The public seemed to accept this direct addressing of the situation and he continued on as PM.]

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Hopewell was a great investment

From Manager, April 24, 2019
Hong Kong tycoon Gordon Wu, left: Thailand is the most attractive investment…
Right: I only invested in building a few concrete poles, but received ten billion in return.
Caption: BOI [Board of Investment of Thailand] should hire Gordon Wu as their spokesman

[Refers to the Supreme Administrative Court’s decision ordering the Transport Ministry to pay compensation to Gordon Wu’s Hopewell Holdings with back interest dating to 2008 for unfairly terminating the contract for the elevated road and rail Hopewell Project.
Hopewell Holdings specialized in mega-development projects with governments seen as too disorganized and corrupt to attract partnerships with other international firms. Despite completing large projects in many countries, including some of the most problematic provinces in China, they were unable to complete their project in Thailand.
The cartoonist jokes that the BOI, which attempts to attract foreign investment, should point out how Hopewell received such a big return on its investment (via the compensation money they were awarded) despite not even finishing their project.]

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They did not violate the law

From Naewna, April 24, 2019

Thaksin: I did not violate the law. I only did what the law didn’t allow.
Thanathorn: I also did not violate the law, but I can’t make it [there] to follow the law.
Caption: Old Future. Future Forward. The same book.
[Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn is facing a share-violation claim which could disqualify him as a politician.
This cartoon compares him to former PM Thaksin who also faced the same allegation as well as many other claims of wrongdoing.
The cartoon has Thaksin saying a famous quote he made to defend himself. He probably intended it to mean that he violated the law, but did not have any ill-intention. However, the way the quote came out made it an often-repeated emblem of the cynicism and high-handed entitlement that Thaksin always expected. It became a famous phrase to indicate how politicians expect to break the rules with impunity.
Beside him is Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn with a paraphrase of his defense for his media shareholdings. The charges center around whether it was physically possible for Thanathorn to have returned to Bangkok in person to divest himself of the shares before the first day of campaigning. This oversight seems to indicate that the kick-off of the Future Forward Party was disorganized at best, leaving several legal loose ends for the ruling junta to disqualify Thanathorn with after the election.]

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Who is to blame for the election?

From Manager, April 29, 2019
Man on the left: How did you arrange the election… but can’t announce the result!!!
Election Commission head Ittiporn (middle): Because of him… How did he write the constitution… it is very difficult to verify…
Charter drafter Meechai (right): Because of him… order me to write like this [he is pointing a member of the military junta who control politics]

[Refers to situation faced by the Election Commission (EC) led by Ittiporn Boonpracong. After the election on April 24, 2019, the EC still cannot figure out how to calculate the allocation of seats for party-list MPs.
They finally decided to seek assistance from the Constitution Court for the judgment. Constitution Drafting Committee chairman Meechai denied to provide any comment regarding this matter as he said his duty as the chairman of Constitution Drafting Committee has already finished.
The constitution has been criticized as being written to serve the prolongation of the junta’s power.]

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Will the junta smoke pot?

From Manager, April 22, 2019
Uttama: Please take it, sir… or they won’t join our government… Then, you won’t be able to be PM.

[Refers to the controversial issue of cannabis legalization supported by the Bhumjai Thai Party led by Anuthin (pictured at far left) and Newin (holding the smoking pipe).
Aunthin and his party appear to be the kingmakers of the election amid intense competition between the Phua Thai Party and the pro-junta Palang Pracharth led by Uttama Savanayana (man pushing Prayuth) to form the next government.]

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