The first post-coup election since 2014 took place in Thailand on 24 March. After the preliminary results were published, both the military-backed party Palang Pracharat and the opposition led by the Pheu Thai party claimed that they had won. This could lead to continued political instability. MSc student Suvassa Ratanaprayook hopes the influence of the military will soon decrease.
‘In our governmental system, the general election is supposed to take place once every four years and a military-backed party can be in power for no longer than one year. It has been four years and 10 months since the military took control of the government in the coup of 2014. They have postponed the election several times already. This year, they felt the pressure from both inside and outside the country, and finally held elections.
We did not expect the military to stay in power for more than 2 years. However, they took the chance to manipulate the governmental system so that they could stay in power for longer. And they made sure that even if they lost the election, they would still benefit politically for several years. They came to us during a very chaotic period in the name of saving the people, but they usurped power and took advantage of the people. This is dictatorship. During the election, there were also some irregular actions, which caused nearly 2,000,000 votes to be disqualified.
I voted for the Future Forward Party. As far as I know, most young Thai citizens voted for this party. Instead of pursuing power, this party has focused on solving current problems in Thailand, especially the need for political transparency. They have placed a lot of emphasis on the younger generation. I think they are better than both the old Democrat Party and the military-backed party. But they are still quite new to the older generation in Thailand. Once they know them, they will vote for them too. I believe this party can bring stability to Thailand.’