Political Dealmaking Will Determine the Winner and Twist Policy Outcomes in Thailand’s Election

I cowrote a piece with Dr. Napon Jatusripitak for the ISEAS-Yusof Isak Institute’s Fulcrum website.

Only one party, Pheu Thai, has a credible chance of gaining a majority in the 500-member House but among the major parties, it is least likely to lead in forming a viable governing coalition. In a landscape where the unelected 250-member Senate, which voted en masse for General Prayut in 2019, will join 500 MPs in selecting a new PM, even a Pheu Thai majority would not guarantee that it can assemble a working coalition. This is mainly because the Senate is unlikely to support a PM candidate running under Pheu Thai’s banner.

To secure at least 376 out of 750 votes in parliament, politicians across the political spectrum must form makeshift alliances, setting aside policy priorities and ideological differences in marriages of convenience. This trend is already foreshadowed by large-scale party hopping and the blurring of ideological divisions among major Thai parties.

Thailand’s future public policy trajectory will therefore depend heavily on the characteristics of the post-electoral coalition government, whose composition will likely be subject to the whims of political dealmakers. While Thai voters can influence the parties’ relative electoral performance, voters’ preferences may not be reflected in the post-election coalition configurations.

Click here to read the full piece at Fulcrum.

(Cover image credits)






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