Menu

Now Reading
Thailand holds first post-coup elections in tentative return to democracy

Menu

Thailand holds first post-coup elections in tentative return to democracy

20190123 thailand election rtr
20190123 thailand election rtr
Photo: Reuters

Today, Thailand goes to the polls in the long-awaited first democratic elections for 500 lower house seats since the 2014 military coup.

The main pro-regime party, the Palang Pracharath Party (PPP) of the incumbent military PM, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, has promised minimum wage increases and minimum agricultural prices for farmers. In addition, it has proposed a set minimum salary for new graduates, likely targeting the 7 million young new voters in this election.

The agricultural policies in particular may be an attempt to capitalise on the waning fortunes of the main anti-Junta party, Pheu Thai, founded by ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra, whose main support base was the rural north of the country. An electoral disqualification for its sister-party has resulted in Pheu Thai now contesting only 250-seats in the 500-seat lower house of parliament; the party cannot win a majority by itself.

The election looked set for a Pheu Thai bloc win but is now up for grabs, with the pro-Junta parties right in the running to form a coalition government. However, regardless of which party is able to win the lion’s share of votes, the 250-seat regime-appointed Senate will have 50% of the votes for the parliamentary-appointed Prime Minister. These inbuilt mechanisms in the post-Junta political system will prevent a truly democratic government free from military influence.

See Also
New Zealand Parliament to convene for first time

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top