Prime Minister Prayuth is contesting against Paetongtarn Shinawatra, daughter of popular billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted from power in a 2006 military coup.
Voting for the general election in Thailand began on Sunday. The election is being billed as a key opportunity for change after outgoing Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was swept to power in a 2014 coup. Prime Minister Prayuth is contesting against Paetongtarn Shinawatra, daughter of popular billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted from power in a 2006 military coup. His relative Yingluck Shinawatra became prime minister in 2011 but was ousted in a coup led by Prayuth.
The opposition Pheu Thai Party, led by Paetongtarn Shinawatra, is projected to win the most seats in the 500-member lower house, but who will lead the next government will not be decided by Sunday’s vote alone. The prime minister will be selected in July in a joint session of the lower house and the 250-member Senate. The winning candidate must have at least 376 votes and no party is likely to touch that figure on its own.
Phayu Thai won the most seats in the 2019 election but its arch-rival, the army-backed Palang Pracharath Party, forged an alliance with Prayuth. Prayuth is seeking re-election. However, this time the support of the army is divided into two factions. Prime Minister Prayuth has been accused of a faltering economy, shortcomings in his handling of the pandemic and thwarting democratic reforms. “The increase in youth voters and general awareness of the damage caused by military rule could be key factors in determining the outcome of this election,” said Tyrell Haberkorn, an expert in Thai studies at the University of Wisconsin.
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