After 4 years of waiting, the Thai elections are approaching!

08/03/2019 By Odasie

>Thai elections

In Thailand, one of the most important events of the year 2019 is coming !

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The land of smiles will experience its first elections in over 4 years!

Since 22 May 2014, the day of the coup d'état led by Prayuth Chan-Ocha, the military junta has been in power in the country. After many years of political domination by the Puea Thai who has won all the national elections since 2001, a feeling of dread reigns on the side of the military who do not wish to see the Shinawatra family regain power.

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Demonstration calling on the government not to delay the early January elections any longer - Photo Reuters

In December 2018, after several dates were raised and postponed, the military government decided to lift the campaign ban. This change in the establishment of the elections announced the approaching of the fateful date for the Thai people.

As a result, in only a few months, many parties were formed and new candidates registered to run in the Thai political arena.

First announced for the end of February 2019, the elections have once again been postponed to 24 March 2019.

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Princess Ubolratana Mahidol, eldest daughter of King Rama X - Photo AFP

More recently, at the beginning of February, news astonished the whole country. The Thai Raksa Chart party, replacing the Puea Thai and opponent of the military party in place, announced the candidacy of the King's elder sister, Princess Ubolratana for the post of prime minister. Usually, the monarchy keeps a low profile in political life and only intervenes in the event of serious conflicts. However, this revelation made a lot of noise, following which the King was firmly opposed to this political commitment in an official communiqué. Thus, within 24 hours, the princess had to leave the political scene, because although she had renounced her royal prerogatives, she remained a member of the royal family by tradition. This is why her candidacy was declined by the electoral commission, which does not oppose the King's will.

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Prayuth Chan-Ocha, head of the military junta - Photo NARONG SANGNAK / EPA / MAXPPP

In response to these events, Prayuth Chan-Ocha, the head of the junta, stated in a statement that he would gladly accept the invitation of the Phalang Pracharat (Pro-military) party to become prime minister in case of victory in the legislative elections.

As a result, the leaders of the party concerned are forbidden to create political parties for a period of ten years.
This announcement will inevitably impact the next legislative elections and reinforce the division that already exists between the ultra-royalist "yellow" and "red" supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra.

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