Weekly News Magazine: New-Old Politics, March, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, March 24-30, 2018
Main cover picture: Back to the Future
[Refers to the competition between the old establishment powers and a new generation of ambitious politicians in the coming election. While the junta, led by PM Prayuth (pictured left), is preparing to hold onto power after the next elections, a new party led by young billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit (pictured right) was established with the aim to end military involvement in governing the country.
“Back to the Future” implies that this new political match up is simply the same as the political tussles that have been happening over the last 20 years, starting with Thaksin first began gaining political popularity.]

Top right: To catch up the trend of Bupphe which is very popular in ‘Ayutthaya period’ ‘Big Tu’ seize the opportunity to wear Thai national dress.
[Refers to the popular Thai period soap “Bupphesanniwat” or “Love Destiny.” The drama takes place during the Ayutthaya period. Thanks to the drama, mnay people have become more interested in the country’s history and culture, particularly in wearing Thai traditional dress. PM Prayuth has encouraged people to wear traditional Thai clothes when visiting temples or historical places.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, March 23-29, 2018
Main cover reads: Way to two intersections
[Refers to PM Prayuth (pictured) who is now facing a dilemma over his future–particularly how he might hold onto the premiership after the next elections. He can either try to be appointed PM as an unelected outsider or establish a military party and participate in politics directly. However, both ways are thought to cause a negative impact to both him and the junta.
An outsider PM is an anathema to many, recalling the bloodshed that followed such move in 1992. A military party offends those who demand an end of army involvement in politics in general.]

From Manager Weekly, March 24-30, 2018
Main cover reads: Corruption nationwide
In boxes at top from left to right: Corruption of the poor [fund], Corruption on the students
Bottom left to right: Corruption on the tribal people, Corruption on the dog [welfare units]
PM Prayuth at bottom right: 90% of corruption was solved!
[Refers to the massive corruption scandals related to the government agencies, such as the corruption in the funds to help the poor, students and tribal people as well as fund for controlling rabies.
These scandals seem to contradict the junta’s vows to fight against corruption in the country.]

Top: NACC changes!! [black] “New-old power” compromise benefits the “powerful person”
[Refers to the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) excusing some of its members from qualifications set down in the charter. The Constitutional Court allowed the charter to be contravened by allowing NACC members waivers for certain qualifications.
This led to an criticism that the court’s ruling set a bad precedent by allowing rulings that override the constitution. It is also said the ruling bode ill for the credibility of the anti-graft commissioners. Pol General Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit (picture at left) is known to have close ties with Deputy PM Prawit’s family, particularly Pol. General Phatcharavat Wongsuwan (pictured right), who is his former boss.]

Bottom left: Bupphe’s franchise very popular; helps expand many things everywhere
[Refers to the famous Thai period soap “Bupphesanniwat” or “Love Destiny.” The drama has helped promote Thai culture and history. Many businesses have gained a huge benefit from tourism, clothing and book sales, etc. due to the popularity of the drama.]

Bottom right: “Nida poll” was changed to be dominated by the “top boot”
[Refers to well-known polling group NIDA which is alleged to be biased toward the junta. “Top boot” refers to the military.]

From Lokwannee, March 24-30, 2018
Main cover reads: How to end people’s stupidity?
[Refers to an official letter that was leaked and refers to efforts to end the stupidity of provincial people. It seemed to validate the idea that Bangkok officialdom looks down on local people.
We are not sure what the orange refers to. The monkey is the “see no evil…” monkey. The joke may be that the way people can stop being stupid is to not see, hear or speak anything because their world is controlled by the junta now.]

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