This year, Thailand will hold its second general election since the 2014 military coup. Like in 2019, this election will also be held under the auspices of the 2017 Constitution, which allows the unelected Senate and the elected House of Representatives to jointly appoint a prime minister. Unlike in 2019, however, Thailand’s switch to a new majoritarian electoral system in 2022 will favour larger parties. Therefore, the stage is set for a clash between the larger conservative parties that can amass the Senate’s support, and the opposition parties that hope to make sufficient electoral gains to prevent the Senate from being involved in selecting the next prime minister.
For Thailand’s voters, this election will be marked by three key issues: first, the blurring of ideological lines (which had also been an issue that was markedly clear during the 2019 election); second, economic issues that continue to linger as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic; and third, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s play for another term after already being in power for eight years.
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