Tropical rains did not stop the Thai day. Hundreds of demonstrators and their umbrellas turned Asoke Junction in central Bangkok into a sea of colour. One of the banners read: “What’s the point of the election? You fooled us.” It is directed at the established authority.
Siege by the Senate
Hundreds of demonstrators also demonstrated last Wednesday evening. That afternoon, Thai senators barred the premiership from Peta Limgarunrat, who won the election in May with his Move Forward progressive party. He got 14 million votes.
But he shouldn’t celebrate too soon. For him to become prime minister, a majority of parliament and the senate also had to agree, but Pieta had already predicted that this would not work. The senators are military appointees and do not like PETA’s reform plans that target the established power. The 313 votes he got in Parliament were not enough.
Already during the discussion, beta participated His disapproval on instagram. “It is clear that winning the people’s trust in the current system is not enough to run the country.” At the top of his account is still the “30th candidate for prime minister of Thailand.” It’s just a dream that collapsed within a few hours on Wednesday.
“The party’s supporters don’t accept it,” said Tom Shelstreet, Southeast Asia correspondent who spoke to protesters today. For example, 30-year-old Furen says he has given up hope. “The young people finally had hope again, but it’s not fair.”
The protester asserts that a small group of “losers” are the ones taking charge of his country. “They don’t care how we live and how we are.” He protests to make it clear that it is “enough”. Our future and our hope have been taken away from us.”
Beta can also forget about a rematch. He was denied a second round of voting because he had to leave parliament on the same day. A Thai court suspended him over allegations that he owned shares in a media company. This is not permitted under Thai electoral law. “But this media company didn’t exist fifteen years ago,” says Shellstright. According to opponents, the marginalization of PETA is a trick of the military regime.
the second choice
Who should lead the country then? PETA itself had already predicted that the Senate would oppose him and therefore announced before Wednesday’s vote that the opposition Pheu Thai party would have to take charge on the issue. This party has already been in opposition in recent years and has become the second largest party during the elections. The two parties will form a coalition with six other parties.
But Pheu Thai has made itself something of a not-so-popular hit in Thailand this weekend. The party entered into talks with a number of other parties linked to the army. Pita never wanted to form an alliance with this one. “There’s a lot of anger about it,” says Schelstright. “What threatens to happen now is that the army will still join the coalition and therefore will remain in power.” Thai people don’t wait for that.
The great success of Going Forward during the elections is seen as a rejection of the current military regime that seized power nine years ago in a coup. Many young voters even switched to voting for Move Forward, as Pheu Thai did not want to rule out making deals with the military
On the other hand, it has become moving forward uninvited To speak with Pheu Thai who took over the formation of the government. According to Pheu Thai, this is because Move Forward only elects a new party leader on August 6. Parliament is due to meet on Thursday to choose a new prime minister.
Unrest in Thailand is expected to increase if Pheu Thai joins forces with its military. However, the atmosphere at the protests has been “joyful” so far, Schelstright said. This does not mean that people are not angry. “There are big problems in the country, such as a weak economy. With this new party, Thais are hopeful that there will finally be an improvement.”
Thailand has a history of coups and similar political sequels. Since 1900, there have been 22 coup attempts, 13 of which succeeded. Move Forward’s predecessor, Future Forward, was also dissolved by the Constitutional Court in the 2019 elections. The party allegedly violated electoral rules.
Moreover, since 2008, three prime ministers who were following the line of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was overthrown in a 2006 coup, have been dismissed.
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