Thailand - May 2023
Thai election delivers landslide victory for opposition
Thailand’s general election on 14 May delivered a historic win to the opposition Move Forward (MFP) and Pheu Thai (PTP) parties. Voter turnout was the highest on record at 75.2 per cent, with election observers stating that the increased participation of civil society and media led to a more transparent election than that of the 2019 ballot. Official estimates on women’s political representation have not yet been updated. Preliminary results show MFP, a progressive party promising monarchy and military reforms securing the most seats, with Thai voters rejecting nearly a decade of military-backed rule. The official election results are expected to be announced in mid-July. Yet the opposition's path toward securing power remains uncertain due to a military junta-scripted 2017 constitution that allowed the establishment to appoint all 250 members of the Senate. MFP and PTP's combined seats still fall short of the 376 votes needed to name a new prime minister. On 22 May, MFP took steps to form a coalition with PTP as well as six other minor parties. The pact includes drafting a new constitution, legalizing same-sex marriage, and replacing military conscription with voluntary recruitment, to name a few. The eight-party coalition now holds 313 seats in the House and will need to convince conservative parliamentarians or senators to support its PM candidate.