In the Buddhist kingdom of Thailand, millions of people had one thing very clear ahead of Sunday’s elections: There was a historic opportunity to make a definitive break with the military regime that led the last coup in 2014.
The elections were won by Pita Limjaroenrat, a 42-year-old businessman and leader of the Move Forward Party (MFP), a progressive formation and a crisis of the military and monarchy.
At the end of the recount, Pita assured that his party was on track to win at least 160 seats.
Second place in all polls was taken by the big favorite, the Phu Thai party of 36-year-old Patongtarn Shinawatra, of Thailand’s most famous political dynasty: she is the self-exiled Dubai billionaire and daughter of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who in 2006 was the first military leader. He was deposed in a coup d’état, which sparked a political upheaval in Thailand that continues to this day.
The centre-left bloc will now seek to form a coalition to oust the current prime minister, nationalist Prayuth Chan-ocha (69), who overthrew another family politician in a 2014 coup. Shinawatra, Yingluck, aunt of the current candidate.
Crossing 80% of the vote, the MFP leader said his party’s impressive results would give him the ability to form a coalition government with Pheu Thai.
“We have shown time and time again that if we move together, we can respond to all the challenges facing the country,” said Pita, a Harvard-educated businessman who has been favored by young voters, whom he won in 2020. had taken to the streets of Bangkok to stage a massive protest against the power and wealth of the eccentric King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Nearly 72% of the 52 million eligible voters cast their ballots at 95,000 polling stations this Sunday, a higher turnout than in previous elections.
The vast majority of voters have opted for a change, but the final result could take up to two months to see who forms the government, given the official margin that exists to confirm them.