The situation had become untenable. After an intense campaign by the opposition for the organization of new legislative elections, the Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, finally yielded to the call of the street by announcing this Monday, March 20 the dissolution of the Assembly . The date of the future election will be known in the next few days.
Came to power following a military coup in 2014, his re-election as prime minister in August 2019 was tainted with irregularities and even temporarily suspended by the Supreme Court for the duration of an investigation by a month. This former head of the Thai army then obtained the majority with the smallest of margins: 251 deputies out of 500. In 2020, he had been strongly shaken by massive demonstrations. But he had held on.
An ungovernable society
This time, he couldn’t resist the pressure, in the face of his growing unpopularity. According to a poll released on Sunday, the main opposition party, the Pheu Thai, would collect half of the votes against only 12% for the Palang Pracharat, the party currently in power. However, the 69-year-old prime minister still retains the support of the army, which is an integral part of the country’s political life. Since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932, Thailand has experienced no less than 12 military coups.
The Pheu Thai was built on the ashes of the former movement of the Prime Minister in exile, Thaksin Shinawatra. His sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, was elected prime minister in 2010 before being deposed by the army. This time the sling was led by another family member, Paethongtarn Shinawatra, the former prime minister’s daughter. The 38-year-old leader expressed her optimism at the announcement of the dissolution: “I have great hopes of forming a government,” she said.
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