Move Forward pledges better welfare for military, end to conscription if it comes to power
The Move Forward Party on Wednesday promised to improve military welfare and abolish conscription as well as end the abuse of low-ranking soldiers if it led the next ruling coalition.
Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat made the promises in his open letter to the military to mark Royal Thai Armed Forces Day, which falls on January 18.
In the letter, Pita said his party had been emphasising the need to reform the military as the party used the name of the now-defunct Future Forward Party.
He said military reform should be treated as a national agenda and the reform must separate the Armed Forces from national politics to end the vicious circle of coups d’etat. He said the Armed Forces should be transparent and accountable to the public, in addition to making them compact and capable of responding to new national threats in time.
Pita said Move Forward sees reform of the Armed Forces as a must because the party wants to see compulsorily recruited military privates have a better quality of life.
He said his party also saw the need for reform because military privates, who volunteered to serve the country, have been abused, been given inadequate living allowances, while having an insecure future apart from being assigned to carry out work not related to military affairs.
Pita said the party also saw that military privates had been abused by commanders who do not respect their human dignity.
The Move Forward leader said some generals, who had turned politicians in the current government, and the network of generals who have vested interests in the Armed Forces, had tried to label Move Forward as enemies of the Armed Forces.
“But, actually, we stand on the opposite side of the generals who destroyed democracy by staging a coup and are doing everything to perpetuate their political power,” Pita said in the letter.
He said his party is the enemy of generals who abuse power to suppress people whom they should protect and the party stands on the opposite side of the generals who push their personal interest with tax payers’ money and refuse to come under public scrutiny.
He said that Move Forward would like to make the following promises on the occasion of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Day – if the party wins the next election:
● End compulsory conscription
● Privates will not be forced to masturbate and jump into cesspools and there will be a serious human rights protection scheme
● Privates will not be cruelly punished by commanders over disciplinary matters because Move Forward will improve military rules to meet international standards
● Military inspectors of Parliament would hear complaints of junior soldiers
● Salaries and allowances of soldiers will be wired directly to their accounts so that they will not be siphoned off by commanders
● No commanders will be allowed to siphon money off from the food budget of junior soldiers
● Promotion evaluation system will be reformed so that any deserving candidate can be promoted without nepotism
● Missions unrelated to military affairs will be eliminated
● Soldiers will no longer be dispatched to serve as personal servants at residences of generals
● Military court for general cases will be abolished for soldiers and they will be tried in civilian courts instead.
● Military will be separated from politics.