National elections slated for May
Thailand is gearing up for an election. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced last week that he will dissolve the House of Representatives in early March to pave the way for a poll within the following 60 days, the first nationwide election since 2019.
The announcement came just weeks after the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said that Thailand had done more than any other nation to improve its democracy in 2022. Speculation had been mounting since late last year about when the current house session would end, and the next election would be called.
Prime Minister Prayut said that he will contest this poll as a candidate for the United Thai Nation Party. In 2019, he was chosen as Prime Minister by the victorious Palang Pracharath Party and a majority of senators. The constitution allows for parliament to choose an unelected outsider to serve in the top job.
A recent survey by Assumption University of those eligible to vote for the first time in the upcoming poll found that the young people were enthusiastic about participating in the democratic process. More than 81 percent said that they are interested in politics dispelling the notion that young people are apathetic or turned off by politics.
“I feel I can make a difference. I think even one vote is important,” Sirinyakorn Suratepin, a 21-year-old university student, told the Bangkok Post.
In opinion polls, no potential candidate or party has emerged with a clear majority. The leading parties include Palang Pracharath, Pheu Thai, Move Forward and Bhumjaithai. Many analysts expect no party will win an outright majority, meaning the next government would be a coalition of several parties.
Photo courtesy of https://thainews.prd.go.th/en/news/print_news/TCATG230122164630498