From Arun, July 23, 2016
Title: The real Democrat
Waiter: Accept or reject, sir.
Abhisit: Hold on a second
On the menu held by Suthep: Constitution 2559 [year of 2016]
On the table: Democrat
[Refers to Democrat Party’s political strategy concerning the charter referendum. The Democrat Party leader Abhisit finally decided he could not accept the charter, saying so in words that made it unclear as to whether the party was urging a “no” vote like the Red Shirts are. When pressed, Abhisit seemed to avoid the question, saying there were disagreements in the party and that it could not meet to decide because of the junta’s ban on political activities.
The international media seemed to take Abhisit’s declarations on the charter at face value, blandly reporting that both the Pheu Thai and Democrats now oppose the junta’s plan.
However, in the Thai world, the Democrats’ tortured position on the referendum is though to be a tactic to be able to later claim they stand for democracy once the charter passes and they are called upon to form the core of a new government. It is often characterized a cynical calculation, perhaps in cooperation with the junta, as part of the overall plan to diminish the future electoral victory of the Pheu Thai and thus stall another round of gambits for amnesty by Thaksin.]