From Manager, February 2, 2018
Left, PM Prayuth: Will you choose me… or him, like the same [as the past]?
On the suit of the dirty man: Politician
Caption: In the past, it was easy to choose.
Right, PM Prayuth: Will you choose me… or him, like the same [as the past]?
Caption: When he stays longer… it is difficult to choose
[After the coup, the junta received general support from the public with their bold claims that they were different from politicians, particularly in terms of corruption.
While the military has never performed well in the past when they seized power and governed the country, this time they were lucky for several years with no major scandals. They had the upper hand and continually stated that they were superior to elected politicians.
However, Prawit’s luxury watch scandal–easily dealt with by having him leave his post–exposed the military as actually inferior to elected politicians. Any civilian government who had a cabinet member under such a scandal would have been quickly replaced.
As perhaps the most powerful military figure in the entire junta, Prawit’s “big man” military mentality could not allow him to accept having to humiliate himself and be forced from his post.
This made junta proclamations of how they were better than the elected officials they overthrew seem empty. It also threw their multiple changes of the election date into a harsher light.
So, junta supporters have been disappointed and pro-Thaksin forces have been cheered that the military seems to be willing to exhaust their credibility over the inability to remove a single military officer from the cabinet.]