The full, unofficial results from Thailand’s national election on Sunday, May 14th are expected to be released today. The preliminary
The full, unofficial results from Thailand’s national election on Sunday, May 14th are expected to be released today.
The preliminary results indicate a significant victory for Pita Limjaroenrat, an opposition politician from the Move Forward Party and the greatest challenge yet to Thailand’s ruling military establishment. Limjaroenrat secured 151 seats in the 500 member House of Representatives and is currently in talks with the Pheu Thai party to form a coalition.
However, all eyes will be on how the established political order will handle the transfer of power. Thailand has been under a military government since a coup in 2014 with several constitutions being enacted since. The monarchy has significantly increased its powers, which led to protests that brought hundreds of thousands to the streets but has ultimately failed to prompt any meaningful reforms. Public trust in the integrity of the elections also remains low, which the ruling military junta could use as justification to retain authority. The preliminary results also show the opposition was unable to secure a large enough majority to overrule the military government’s authority in choosing who can serve as Prime Minister.
While the results indicate a strong rebuke of Thailand’s status quo, there is the unfortunate risk that it could ultimately wind up a symbolic victory rather than a material one.