From Wadah to Prachachart: The Emergence of an Ethno-Religious Party in Thailand’s Deep South


About the Webinar

This talk argues that the use of ethno-religious rhetoric by Prachachart Party backfired in the May 14 national election. Possibly seeing how successful PAS (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia) was with the 2022 Malaysian general election, Prachachart decided to follow the footstep of PAS’s Islamist hardline political platform. Prachachart used religious campaign narratives to attack “same sex marriages” and “legalized cannabis” policies proposed by their political opponents. Prachachart injected the idea of “hell or heaven” into their campaign narrative. These political moves failed: they did not help Prachachart secure any additional seats in the May 14 national election. Instead, they won their usual five to seven seats. Furthermore, this webinar predicts that these ethno-religious narratives (e.g. “hell or heaven,” “kafir”) will halt the party’s political progress and reduce its longevity. Prachachart needs to downplay the ethno-religious card in order to thrive at the national level. This webinar will also discuss how this ethnic minority-based political faction is positioned at the international, national, and local stages and how the group has modified its political position and ideology over the years, from its origins in 1986 as the “Wadah” faction to its current iteration as “Prachachart” party or ”Ummah,” which means nation in Arabic.

About the Speaker

Daungyewa (Hong) Utarasint is Visiting Assistant Professor, Arts and Humanities at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). She holds a BA from Thammasat University, an MA in International Commerce and Public Policy from George Mason University, and a PhD in International, Political and Strategic Studies from The Australian National University. Daungyewa focuses on political violence and the effects of separatism and terrorism on voting behavior in Thailand. Her current research investigates women and voting behavior amid conflict in the Southernmost provinces of Thailand, examining the major obstacle to women’s political participation and how religion and cultural norms affect women’s political mobility. Her work has appeared in Contemporary Southeast Asia, among other publications. Before joining NYUAD, Daungyewa was a lecturer at the Department of Political Science at Prince of Songkla University and a research associate at The Center for Conflict Studies and Cultural Diversity (CSCD), Patani, Thailand.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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Jun 26 2023


10:00 am - 11:15 am