Thailand election sees opposition trounce military parties

Thailand's opposition Move Forward and Pheu Thai parties trounced conservative parties backed by the country's military in an election on Sunday.

Reuters
First Published15 May 2023, 08:16 AM IST
Voters stand in a queue to cast their ballot to vote in the general election at a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand, May 14, 2023. (Reuters)
Voters stand in a queue to cast their ballot to vote in the general election at a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand, May 14, 2023. (Reuters)

Thailand's opposition Move Forward and Pheu Thai parties trounced conservative parties backed by the country's military in an election on Sunday. The focus was expected to shift quickly toward efforts to form a government.

Following is the reaction from political analysts and business groups.

Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Chulalongkorn University

"The top two parties will be Pheu Thai and Move Forward.  

"Pheu Thai fought the wrong war, the populism war that it already won.  Move Forward takes the game to the next level with institutional reform.  That's the new battleground in Thai politics.

"This is a staggering result. It's historic."

Ken Mathis Lohatepanont, University of Michigan

"Since 2001, Pheu Thai has won the largest number of seats at every election comfortably. After two decades, this certainty of Thai politics has been overturned. The era of Pheu Thai dominance of electoral politics is over."

Titipol Phakdeewanich, Ubon Ratchathani University

"Move Forward cannot take anything for granted. Pita (Limjaroenrat) has assumed that they can form a government with Pheu Thai. But there is still the equation that Bhumjaithai (party) may gather others and Pheu Thai as well to form another type of coalition."

Zachary Abuza, National War College

"The will of the people is likely to be thwarted again. I just don't see the Senate respecting popular will; they were created and appointed to do one thing, maintain the conservative-royalist hold on politics.

"I see no path forward for a 376 seat pro-democracy coalition that is needed to overcome the Senate's vote for the prime minister."

Tamara Loos, Cornell University

"This is a moment of great opportunity for the military-backed parties and PM Prayuth to graciously accept that Thai voters desire a change in the status quo."

Nattabhorn Buamahakul, Asia Group Advisors (Consultancy)

"Thai politics has changed. Political houses and dynasties mean less in many districts.

“It's the beginning of the end for money politics in Thailand.”

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First Published:15 May 2023, 08:16 AM IST
HomeNewsworldThailand election sees opposition trounce military parties

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