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July 28, 2023





We have followed the election results and the ensuing drama in Thailand since May 14, 2023, when The Move Forward Party (MFP) won the first election in nine years.   The Thai Military had previously taken control in a coup and finally succumbed to pressure to have an election.  Coups are a rather common experience in Thailand but the shattering news in this election was the success of an unknown party of “youngsters” who took over the political arena and won which stunned a great many people.  MFP formed a coalition with the Pheu Thai Party, a long-standing party going back to the days of Thaksin and his family.  The Move Forward Party coalition nominated Pita Limjaroenrat to be the Prime Minister and direct the political agenda which would be customary for the winner of a democratic election.  However, the Thailand Prime Minister post requires a majority of the largely military members of the appointed Senate to approve the appointment.  It was idealistic for the young folks to present a platform that would lessen the role of the Thai Monarch which is the touchstone of many citizens and in particular the Thai Military. Therefore, Pita appears dejected in a Bangkok Post article image as he failed in two attempts to be confirmed Prime Minister by the votes in the Senate.   

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Accordingly, Move Forward Party secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon shown below is quoted in a Bangkok Post article that the runner-up Pheu Thai party, as a member of an eight-party coalition with MFP, would proceed to nominate a candidate of their choice.

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The Pheu Thai party is a legacy from former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was overthrown by a coup, and lives outside of Thailand given his legal problems.  Nonetheless, he is anxious to return and reunite with his clan back home.  Thaksin’s daughter Paetongtorn Shinawatra and Strettha Thavisin a property tycoon, shown here, are the leaders of Pheu Thai.  In the May 14 election, MFP won 151 seats in parliament and Pheu Thai won 141 which shook the conservative foundations of Bangkok.  Moreover, MFP refuse to back down from their campaign platform for monarchy leśe majesté law modifications and Thai Military reforms. 

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The Bangkok Post has just reported that Parliament President Wan Muhamad Noor Matha shown below has indefinitely postponed any further voting for a new prime minister, pending a Constitutional Court ruling on the obscure issue regarding the renomination of MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat.  Accordingly, the government of Thailand will be in limbo until that issue, or the platform of MFP, will be sufficiently modified such that the Thai Military are more comfortable that they will play a role in the future.

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In the meantime, life goes on in Thailand with all the wonderful attributes it has to offer.  However, the absence of a working government is disturbing to many potential newcomers such as tourists and investors.  Nonetheless, the Thai situation is rather pristine when compared to the blood shed next door in Myanmar and the total absence of any democratic principles in Cambodia.  In fact, Hun Sen, the Prime Minister, and ruling czar of Cambodia celebrated his re-election the day before the actual election took place.

Moreover, there has been considerable discussion about Thaksin returning to Thailand on August 10 generated by his daughter Paetongtorn, shown below with her father former Prime Minister Thaksin, in her Facebook disclosure.  One might think that a different coalition is evolving that might fit the historical patterns of Thai governments in the past. The Bangkok Post covered a comment made by Corrections Department Chief Ayut Sintonhoppan to the effect that fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra would be treated as an elderly prisoner and receive whatever medical treatment he may need if he is imprisoned on his planned return to Thailand. Maybe it is back to the past.

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Our products are from Asian elephant countries offered to fund programs for the families and their 300 elephants in Baan Ta Klang, northeast Thailand. Your support enables us to provide two native English-speaking teachers in the village as well as underwrite a portion of the veterinary services for the elephants.

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