Thailand gets new Prime Minister

Photo: Chalinee Thirasupa/Reuters

Srettha Thavisin from the Pheu Thai party secured enough votes in parliament on 22 August to become the 30th Prime Minister of Thailand, and received royal endorsement on 23 August.

Months of post-election uncertainty has come to and end. With 482 votes out of a possible 727 from the present politicians in parliament, the 60-year-old Thavisin takes the win.

The Pheu Thai will lead a coalition of 11 parties  – as well as two parties backed by the military, who actually overthrew Pheu Thai governments through coups back in 2006 and 2014.

Not a one-size-fits-all

But Thavisin is not from the party most people voted for back in May.

The reformist youth-oriented party, Move Forward, won a plurality of House seats on 14 May during parliamentary elections, but was later blocked from forming a government by the National Assembly. They were excluded by Pheu Thai, who said ‘their commitment to changing royal defamation law had made it impossible to collect enough support’ from other parties as well as the Senate.

Move Forward also voted against the prime ministerial candidate, saying they will not support forming government with parties linked to the military, which Pheu Thai decided to do anyway – despite having previously promised the opposite.

Whilst critics call the new government a ‘betrayal of election results,’ Pheu Thai has defended the current stance as a necessity to ending the political deadlock.

The plan ahead

The new political coalition agreed to support Pheu Thai’s plan of boosting the economy, increasing the minimum wage, and work to make the country ‘more democratic’ without touching the royal defamation law.

“I will try my best and work tirelessly to improve the quality of life for Thai people,” Srettha said.

Sources: Al Jazeera 

About Sofie Rønnelund

Sofie Roennelund is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Sofie Rønnelund

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