In the voice of Locke and Mussolini? ‘new politics’ for Thailand?
The statement criticised the close relationship between Thaksin Shinawatra and the Samak government, criticised the ECT for being pro-Thaksin and allowing cases of electoral fraud against PPP to stall, and expressed concern about interference in the judicial system that favoured Thaksin. PAD stage-2 had begun.
The idea was also reminiscent of a strand of Thai military thinking from the 1980s that argued elections resulted in parliamentary dictatorship and proposed a form of corporate representation to realise the ‘general will’ of the people under military leadership. In keeping with that line, Sondhi argued that the military, in new politics, could intervene in politics when, among other things, the government was corrupt and when a government failed to act on cases of lèse-majesté. He proposed that the military come under the control of the Crown, not an elected government (Connors 2008e)
Several PAD leaders have rejected the idea that Sondhi's version of ‘New Politics’ is official PAD policy (interview with author, Bangkok, August 5 and August 7, 2008). They have also criticised Sondhi's proposal for defined conditions enabling military intervention. But they did not do so publicly for fear of creating disunity in PAD during what they claimed were conditions of ‘war’.