Thailand’s 2019 Puzzling Election and Its Impact on Thai Politics
About the Seminar
It is no exaggeration to call the 24 March 2019 elections in Thailand cryptic. They were rife with irregularities and occasioned widespread suspicion of electoral fraud. The Election Commission of Thailand failed to release results in a timely fashion. The electoral system was criticised for favouring the pro-junta Phalang Pracharat party. The period following the elections has witnessed even greater confusion and skepticism. The Constitutional Court suspended a prominent opposition leader from Parliament even before Parliament opened. The formation of a coalition government was delayed. And when the House and Senate met in joint session to choose a new prime minister, the incumbent Gen Prayut Chan-ocha trumped rival nominee Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit by 500 votes to 244.
This talk will cover the scenarios for Thai politics after the 2019 elections, including how the electoral results and electoral system affected the selection of the prime minister, the continued importance of factional politics, the role of opposition parties, and political participation among young voters. In addition, the talk will outline broader constraints on the future of the country’s politics, especially the role of the Twenty-Year National Strategy for the development of Thailand.
About the Speaker
Punchada Sirivunnabood is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mahidol University, Thailand, and Visiting Fellow in the Thailand Studies Programme of the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. Her research focuses on elections and political parties in Thailand and Indonesia and on regional security in ASEAN. She earned her doctorate in political science at Northern Illinois University. She has been a visiting professor at the University of Cambridge and is the recipient of a 2019 U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Fulbright Fellowship.
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