The results were good news for the Bhumjaithai Party and Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and may be seen as a rejection of Mr Chuwit Kamolvisit’s anti-marijuana crusade. Mr Pita Limjaroenrat, on Sunday night, said that talks with Pheu Thai to form a coalition government could begin as early as Monday night. The election results are provisionally finalised but it looks like the political future of the kingdom is still one of some uncertainty based on the surprise outcome.
The results of the Thai General Election have thrown up a plethora of possibilities as it seems clear that the Pheu Thai Party has not won a landslide while the election has been a sweeping victory for the Move Forward Party which is sending a signal that Thai people, particularly the young, want to see change and are capable of exercising their voting franchise. Nevertheless, the coalition government parties performed better than most polls expected and could still, in theory, form a minority government although the figures suggest this possibility is receding and unlikely. The key question now is the fate of both the Move Forward and Pheu Thai parties which are facing disturbing probes by the Election Commission and the attitude of the Thai Senate or upper house which still retains 250 votes in the selection of the next prime minister when parliament convenes in the coming months.
Counting in the General Election finished on Monday. The news is quite a surprise on several fronts. Please note that these are provisional results subject to certification in July by the country’s Election Commission.
The final figures showed the Move Forward Party as the General Election winner with 152 seats in parliament.
That result represents a seismic shift in Thai politics and with both opposition parties approaching 300 seats. The will of the people is quite clear.
The Pheu Thai Party failed in its efforts to gain a landslide victory in this General Election with the top three coalition parties already looking like they are on course to win 146 seats between them which is more than opinion polls before the election had consistently suggested.
On the other hand, it is also clear that the more radical Move Forward Party performed extremely well in the General Election by returning 152 MPs, making it the largest Thai political party and putting it in a position to begin forming the next government.
These results here were confirmed on Monday, 15th of May by the Election Commission but will be certified as finally sometime in July before parliament meets.
Move Forward and Pheu Thai parties look like they will command a majority in parliament but all hinges on actions of the Senate and Election Commission
The results suggest that the Move Forward Party and Pheu Thai Party have won a commanding majority in parliament but the results also mean, in theory at least, that the coalition government parties together with the unelected upper house or Senate could install a Prime Minister between them with the full or unanimous support of senators.
Indications in recent days suggested that the Senate would back the largest party or bloc that could control a majority in the House of Representatives but these were also conflicted.
A government elected with a minority in the House of Representatives would not be able to govern effectively while also, the Senate loses its power over the selection of a prime minister in June of next year.
The results, as they now stand, leave Bhumjithaui Party as the leading party of opposition.
On Sunday 14th of May 2023, Mr Anutin the leader of the party congratulated the Move Forward and Pheu Thai parties and hailed his own party’s increase in seats but noted that it had failed to come in second place and to elect a Bangkok MP.
Probes into Pita Limjaroenrat and the Pheu Thai Party are disturbing factors in the election outcome which are now creating uncertainty about the future
However, a key hurdle that may be facing the opposition parties in the struggle to form a government is a complaint concerning the leader of the election’s victorious Move Forward Party, Mr Pita Limjaroenrat, in recent days and weeks ahead, with regard to a shareholding in a media firm.
This was lodged days before the poll with the Election Commission while the Pheu Thai Party itself is under continued investigation for its controversial digital wallet election pledge.
Mr Pita has told reporters that he is now confident of a Move Forward and Pheu Thai coalition government and suggested, on Sunday, that talks could begin to that end on Monday night.
This process has begun with parties choosing their negotiators with a six-party coalition commanding 309 seats.
Opposition in the Senate to the proposed new government has also been voiced.
Pita plots a new coalition government with Pheu Thai but open conflict has already raised its head in the Senate
If these issues can be put to bed by the Election Commission or ignored for now, then Mr Pita or Ms Paetongtarn Shinawatra or Mr Srettha Thavisin looks like they may be on course for government while, if the coalition government parties pursue the course of establishing a minority government, a move that would now be highly controversial and only just viable, then General Prayut Chan ocha or even Bhumjaithai Party leader Mr Anutin Charnvirakul may emerge as Thailand’s new government leader.
The latter is now thought highly unlikely.
On Sunday at 9 pm, the leader of the Palang Pracharat Party, General Prawit Wongsuwan, arrived at party headquarters and thanked supporters and party workers while news filtered through that General Prayut, the Prime Minister is to stay in politics with the United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party.
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit declined to comment on the results and the apparent success of the Move Forward Party.
‘Other topics will be discussed later. It’s not the time yet. We must wait longer because vote counting has not finished,’ General Prawit declared.
He only spent a meeting addressing party workers and supporters and also did not wish to say how he felt about the election result.
Bhumjaithai Party has achieved more seats than it did in 2019 and is well placed for the political horse-trading and manoeuvres which will now begin
The Bhumjaithai Party exceeded the number of seats it achieved in the last election and elected 70 MPs while General Prayut’s United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party is looking at 36 which can be counted as only a limited success.
The Palang Pracharat Party, which had been facing decimation, retained 40 seats which would appear to defy polls showing disastrously low levels of support for the party even though it is still a massive loss from its 2019 performance.
The disappointment in this election will be felt by the Pheu Thai Party which currently is on 141 seats.
On Sunday, Ung Ing or Ms Paetongtarn Shinawatra made it clear that the party with the largest cohort of seats will lead the next government and, on Monday, the party confirmed swiftly its agreement to enter into coalition talks with Move Forward.
This would mean that Mr Pita Limjaroenrat, currently the subject of an Election Commission probe, could be Thailand’s next Prime Minister.
It is possibly too early yet to say but the fact that the Pheu Thai Party had two high-profile nominees in Ms Paetongtarn Shinawatra and Mr Srettha Thavisin may have been a mistake while the later intervention of Mr Thaksin Shinawatra, the former ousted prime minister in the 2006 coup d’état who is still threatening to return home before July 26th next, is also thought to have switched voters off.
Meanwhile, the Democrat Party, Thailand’s oldest, has fared very badly in the poll with Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Commerce, Jurin Laksanawisit, announcing on Sunday that he is stepping down as party leader because of the party’s poor performance with just 21 constituency MPs returned and 4 party list seats, a loss of 28 seats.
The Thai Sang Thai Party under leader Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan elected six MPs while the Prachachart Party returned nine and the Seri Ruam Thai Party only elected one MP. The Thai Fair Party also elected one MP.
A range of other parties saw one or two MPs elected while Chart Thai Pattana secured 10 seats. All the seats have been provisionally allocated by the Election Commission as per the table below subject to certification.
Postponement of election results press conference
Figures from Bangkok show a 72% turnout for the election with the nationwide turnover at 75.22%, just above the figure of the 2019 poll.
On Sunday night, the Election Commission postponed indefinitely the planned informal announcement of the election results saying it would begin again updating figures at 10.30 am on Monday morning.
It said that it had encountered severe problems with collating the vote throughout the country on Sunday making the delay necessary.
On Monday morning, the Election Commission confirmed the preliminary results indicated that the Move Forward Party had won the election but said final tallies and figures would not be available until sometime in July before the new parliament meets.
United Thai Nation Party
|Chart Thai Pattana||10|
|Thai Sang Thai Party||6|
|Chart Pattana Kla||2|
|Pheu Thai Ruam Palang||2|
|Seri Ruam Thai Party||1|
|Teachers for People||1|