Sunday, December 09, 2007

The sort of people involved in Thai politics Pt.3

When you are paid a salary that puts you in the richest ten percent of country and you are doing a role that you have been bound by constitutional law to do and you knew exactly what the role involved when you applied for the job, it's still OK to throw your toys out of the pram if somebody says something to make you cry.

I'm talking about Sodsri Sattayatham, a member of the EC (Election Commission). Sosdri began her role by publicly accusing the voluntary People's Network for Elections (PNET) of misspending 80 million bhat of tax money. PNET responded fiercely, by threatening to sue Sodsri if she did not make a public apology. Sodsri refused, did not attend a meeting with PNET and PNET made good on their promise of removing all their volunteers from election monitoring.

Things got better. Sodsri drew up some new election rules for the forthcoming election that were widely criticised for being too harsh. She was due to attend a public forum with her colleagues on the issue but tragically fell ill (no diagnosis was made public) and could not attend.

And then today with news that Sodsri and the EC may press charges against the PPP (People Power Party) for allegedly distributing VCDs of Thaksin Shiniwatra making promises that (to paraphrase) "A vote for [PPP leader] Samak is a vote for Thaksin" and also closing down a pro Thaksin web site, Sodsri took some criticism for her EC being "biased" in the eyes of PPP leader Samak.

So, how did Sodsri respond? With valour? With a passionate commitment to do her well salaried job as she is required to do so? At least a calm explanation that in fact, she is simply fulfilling her job description by investigating electoral misconduct?

Of course not, instead, we get this ........(full piece here)

Election commissioners are under a lot of pressure and may stop taking action against political parties in connection with the Dec 23 election and let the parties in conflict fight their battles in the courts, she said.

In other words "Stop saying nasty things or I'll stop doing my job at all".

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