Thai Pro-Democracy Parties Triumph in Elections, Clear Mandate for Change Emerges


In a resounding victory for pro-democracy opposition parties, Thai voters have delivered a clear mandate for change in the recent elections, ousting the ruling military-backed government. With 99 percent of votes counted, the liberal Move Forward party (MFP) and the populist Pheu Thai Party emerged as clear frontrunners, leaving Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s United Thai Nation party trailing behind. The Election Commission reported that MFP garnered 13.5 million popular votes, followed by Pheu Thai with 10.3 million, while Prayuth’s United Thai Nation party secured a distant third with 4.5 million votes. This outcome effectively shuts the door on any possibility of army-backed parties forming a minority government, as stated by MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat.

Limjaroenrat emphasized that the path forward would involve coalition talks, signaling the intention of MFP to approach Pheu Thai to discuss plans. On Twitter, he expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support received by the Move Forward Party and hinted at his aspirations of becoming the next prime minister. Pheu Thai leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra congratulated MFP on their success and expressed openness to collaboration. While the Election Commission will take several weeks to officially confirm the final seat distribution, an early forecast suggests that MFP is poised to secure 113 out of the 400 constituency seats, narrowly surpassing Pheu Thai with 112 seats. An additional 100 seats will be allocated proportionally among the parties. However, forming a government may prove challenging for the MFP and Pheu Thai due to the constitutional constraints imposed by the military junta in 2017.

The selection of the new premier will require joint participation from the 500 elected MPs and 250 senate members appointed by Prayuth’s junta, heavily favoring the military’s interests. Moreover, rumors have already begun circulating that the MFP could face dissolution through a court order, mirroring the fate of its predecessor, the Future Forward Party, which performed unexpectedly well in the 2019 elections. Nevertheless, the election results have marked a significant victory for pro-democracy forces in Thailand, setting the stage for potential political transformation and challenging the dominance of military-backed parties.


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