Srettha Thavisin Elected as Thailand’s New Prime Minister

Thailand’s political scene has seen a significant turn of events with the appointment of Srettha Thavisin as the country’s new prime minister. In the midst of long stretches of political halt since the May general election, Srettha’s ascent to power comes with the endorsement of the king.

The appointment marks the end of the dominance of the progressive Move Forward Party (MFP), which had garnered significant support from the youth and urban population. However, this transition also brings to the forefront a controversial coalition that includes parties linked to the military and former coup-makers.

Srettha Thavisin Elected as Thailand's New Prime Minister

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Sources about Srettha Thavisin (For R&D)

Srettha Thavisin, a previous property big shot and individual from the Pheu Thai party, has assumed the role of Thailand’s prime minister following a parliamentary vote. The endorsement by the king further hardens his situation.

Srettha’s entrance into politics had been a relatively recent development, and his association with the Pheu Thai party, which has ties to the influential figure Thaksin Shinawatra, adds layers of complexity to the country’s political landscape.

The appointment of Srettha Thavisin comes after months of political deadlock that followed the May general election. The progressive Move Forward Party (MFP) had gained significant popularity, riding on promises of reform and change.

However, their push for changes that included challenging royal insult laws and confronting powerful vested business interests raised concerns among the country’s elite. This led to the blocking of MFP’s leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, from becoming prime minister.

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Thus, the stage was set for the Pheu Thai party to forge a coalition government. This coalition, however, raised eyebrows due to its inclusion of pro-military parties that had previously ousted Thaksin in 2006 and his sister Yingluck in 2014.

This undeniable a change in Pheu Thai’s position against military impact, abandoning numerous to conjecture about the inspirations this astounding coalition.

The arrival of Thaksin Shinawatra, a prominent figure in Thai politics who had been in exile for 15 years, adds another layer of intrigue to the situation.

His return coincided with Srettha’s appointment, leading to speculations of a backroom deal between political forces. Some analysts believe that Thaksin’s return might have been facilitated by an agreement with the country’s conservative and royalist establishment.

This agreement could involve reduced jail terms, leniency, or even a potential pardon for Thaksin, in exchange for containing the reformist agendas of parties like MFP.

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The alliance that has now come to control in Thailand unites improbable partners, including previous enemies. Pheu Thai’s choice to frame a partnership with favorable to military groups goes against its past position against military association in governmental issues.

This alliance has actually closed out the MFP, regardless of their electoral success. The move raises questions about the role of established power structures in shaping the country’s democratic processes and about the extent to which the will of the people is truly reflected in the government’s composition.

Srettha Thavisin’s tenure as prime minister faces several challenges. The coalition he leads has disparate interests and backgrounds, raising concerns about its cohesion and effectiveness.

However, Srettha’s promises to tackle poverty, inequality, and economic challenges have resonated with many Thais who have experienced years of slow economic growth and the impact of the pandemic on the vital tourism industry.

His proposed policies, such as a $300 handout and a boost in the minimum wage, suggest an attempt to address pressing societal issues.

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