Thai Elections: Opposition Signs MoU to Form Government
On Monday, Thailand's eight prominent political parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a coalition government under the progressive Move Forward party, the top recipient of votes in the May 14 general election.
- On Monday, Thailand's eight prominent political parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a coalition government under the progressive Move Forward party, the top recipient of votes in the May 14 general election.1
- The 23-point MoU — which will control 313 seats in the 500-member House of Representatives — reportedly retained several of Move Forward's campaign promises, such as passing a same-sex marriage law, drafting a new constitution, and ending military conscription in peacetime.2
- Though the coalition aims to restore democracy in Thailand, missing from the agenda is a proposal to amend Thailand's strict laws against insulting the monarchy, with the MOU instead affirming the "inviolable status of the monarch."3
- Despite a majority in the House of Representatives, the prime minister will be selected by a joint vote between the lower house and the Senate. The coalition needs at least 376 votes to lead the country, meaning they need some support from the 250 military-appointed members of those chambers.2
- Meanwhile, the Pheu Thai party leader said that the coalition, under Pita Limjaroenrat's leadership, will be "ending the cycle of coups." Incidentally, Monday marked the anniversary of the 2014 military takeover of Thailand.4
- During the 2019 general election, the Senate unanimously voted for incumbent Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha, despite the Pheu Thai party winning in the polls. Consequently, anti-government and monarchy reform protests rocked Thailand in 2020 and 2021.5
Sources: 1Al Jazeera, 2Associated Press, 3Reuters, 4BNN, and 5VOA.
- Progressive narrative, as provided by Foreign Policy. Thai voters have stood up to the military junta and repressive monarchy, and it appears the country is on the verge of real democratic progress. After soundly trouncing the royalist, military-backed opponents in the election, a new generation of reformers is ready to establish a government and transition to freedom. Even if challenges to the monarchy are currently on the back burner, the world should be in no doubt that this is the start of a period of immense change for Thailand.
- Conservative narrative, as provided by Thai PBS World. The people of Thailand still love and respect their king, and it was prudent that Move Forward have silenced the radicals and reaffirmed the place of the monarchy in Thai society. Any attempt to denigrate the monarchy will severely backfire, and many of Move Forward's coalition partners are devoted to the institution. The people of Thailand will not stand for insults to their king.