Video clip paints a sombre picture of the country’s future as the PM’s party raises the brooding spectre of political instability as it and other government parties trail in opinion polls behind the key opposition parties which seem to have the momentum to form a new government.
The Prime Minister’s United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party has released a video clip warning of the danger of Thailand reverting to a land of political turmoil with just days to go to the General Election with the two main opposition parties, Move Forward and Pheu Thai riding high in the polls. At the same time, a revered abbot in Chiang Mai is predicting a return to street protests and civil strife in the aftermath of next weekend’s election.
With days to go before the General Election in Thailand on May 14th, uneasiness currently pervades the country’s political scene with all opinion polls showing clearly the prospect of a decisive victory for the key opposition parties of Pheu Thai Party and Move Forward in what is shaping up as a profound rejection of the post-coup government formed in 2019 with parties in that government looking like they will be lucky to gain 20% to 25% of the vote while the opposition bloc looks poised to poll anywhere from 65% to 85% of the vote.
This unsettling reality for the government parties and its acolytes including some elements of the media in the kingdom, has led to speculation of the possibility of a minority government using the short-term power of the unelected senate.
However, even this, now appears to have fallen beyond the scope of the parties to the unpopular coalition.
Deputy PM Wissanu walks back talk of a minority government saying a ministry formed with a majority in the House of Representatives was advisable
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, over the weekend, walked back earlier comments in this regard and suggested that the best outcome for Thailand would be a government formed with a majority in the lower house or House of Representatives after the election.
Over the weekend, with a late surge in support for the more progressive Move Forward Party, the United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party supporting General Prayut’s return as Prime Minister issued what appeared to be a dark and foreboding video clip warning that Thailand could be in danger of returning to the days of political conflict that existed before General Prayut took power in a military coup d’état on May 22nd 2014.
The video themed ‘Thailand is not the same’ and warned of the kingdom being pulled back into what it termed a black hole of political conflict.
New United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party Campaign Video published on Facebook (Thai language)
The video shows several scenes from inside Thai families and warns of the damage of Thailand losing its unique culture, traditions and outlook to a new and troubled world of conflict.
It contained stark footage of the streets of Thailand and imagery including the defaced entrance to the Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok caused by intense political rioting there in 2020.
Controversial speech at the beginning of April positioned the PM’s United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party firmly to the right of Thai politics
The video comes just under a month after one of the most controversial incidents of the election campaign so far when the Secretary-general to the Prime Minister and United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party leader Mr Pirapan Salirathavibhaga gave a controversial speech at a rally of party loyalists in Bangkok in which he warned that if his party won the election, they would get tough on what he termed ‘nation haters’.
A key argument of those on the more conservative extreme of Thai politics which General Prayut’s party appears to be courting is that a more progressive or radical agenda such as that proposed by the Move Forward Party fails to take note of Thailand’s unique heritage and traditions.
In recent weeks, as the Move Forward Party has climbed in terms of public support, it has tried to tone down its more progressive rhetoric as it seeks a broader appeal.
Move Forward Party has moderated its tone within days of the General Election as it seeks to broaden its support base with a surge in popular support
It has instead emphasised its practical policies for the country, and its desire to see Thailand modernise while making it clear that it fully supports the Thai monarchy and is only calling for reform of the controversial Article 112 criminal code provision on lèse-majesté.
The unease over the possibility of a threat to the democratic process or some unforeseen political developments to prevent what now seems like an inexorable journey into government for the opposition was underscored on Sunday when a Buddhist abbot at a temple in Chiang Mai, reiterated his earlier prediction this year that Thailand was heading towards another period of civil strife and turmoil which would ultimately see the return of General Prayut as Prime Minister.
He predicted, at the beginning of 2023, chaos in the aftermath of the General Election and another cycle of endless street protests due to disagreement about the future direction of the country.
He warned that the peace of the country will again disappear.
Academics have consistently speculated that Thailand’s never-ending cycle of democratically elected governments being subverted by military coups may continue despite the heavy economic costs that the two coup d’états since 2006 have inflicted on the kingdom.