Thai Provincial Politics on the National Scale: Perspectives from Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit
THAILAND STUDIES PROGRAMME WEBINAR
About the Webinar
The Future Forward Party electrified much of Thailand’s urban electorate in campaigning for the country’s March 2019 polls. It espoused a liberal platform addressing such issues of national concern as curbing the Thai military’s role and reducing the influence of powerful corporate conglomerates. At the same time, the party created a network of local branches and fielded candidates across provincial Thailand. These candidates won constituency seats in the Northeast, in the North and on the Eastern Seaboard. The support of provincial voters also played a significant role in enabling Future Forward to rank as the only major party to win more party-list seats than constituency seats in Thailand’s parliament. Following the Constitutional Court’s dissolution of the party in early 2020, its successor organization the Progressive Movement campaigned vigorously for Thailand’s provincial elections of December 2020 and municipal elections of March 2021. Its leader, and Future Forward’s former leader, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, tirelessly criss-crossed the country to support the movement’s candidates in these elections. He urged provincial voters to use sub-national elections to make their views on national issues heard. Thanathorn will share lessons that he has gained from local election campaigns. Drawing on these experiences, he will discuss the underlying problems of the governing structure of the Thai state and offer his views on why and how the power relations between the central government and local administrations need to change.
About the Speaker
Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit is the leader of Thailand’s Progressive Movement, a successor organization to the now-dissolved Future Forward Party. A graduate of the joint engineering programme of Thammasat and Nottingham Universities and the holder of master’s degrees in political economy, finance and business law, Thanathorn is former Executive Vice Chairman of the Thai Summit Group, a privately-held automotive parts manufacturer. As a student, he served as Vice President of the Thammasat University Students Union and as Deputy Secretary General of the Students Federation of Thailand. Thanathorn and Thammasat University law lecturer Piyabutr Saengkanokkul founded the Future Forward Party in 2018. As the party’s leader, Thanathorn captained its campaign for the March 2019 Thai elections. Though he was elected and sworn in as a party-list member of Thailand’s National Assembly, charges of violating electoral laws led to the suspension of his status as a member of parliament. Following the Constitutional Court’s dissolution of Future Forward in February 2020, Thanathorn was banned from involvement in party politics for a period of ten years. In March 2020, Thanathorn and former members of the Future Forward executive committee founded the Progressive Movement to continue the dissolved party’s work through a social movement that would enter the arena of local politics.
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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