Global Insight: Thailand election augurs well for democracy

The surprise election result in Thailand may reflect a global resurgence of belief in democracy, Professor Robert Patman says.

The grassroots, pro-democracy Move Forward party, led by Pita Limjaroenrat, caused a political upset when it won 36% of the popular vote in this week’s Thai general election.

International affairs specialist Prof Patman says the result, which threatens the power of Thailand’s military and its royal family, is significant within the country and beyond.

‘‘This election is of potentially enormous significance,’’ Prof Patman said.

‘‘You have to see this as a bit of a snub to the privileged forces within Thailand.’’

Internationally, it might represent a shift away from the global rise of authoritarianism - a trend that has been noticed since Russia invaded Ukraine.

‘‘There’s no doubt that young people in Thailand are enthusiastically supporting the Move Forward group. That has international implications because it ties in with a bit of a resurgence and a belief in the power of ideas and democracy globally.’’

On Global Insight this week, Prof Patman also talked about New Zealand’s growing connections with Thailand and the likely contrasting views of the election results by leadership in the United States and China.



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