Thaksin predicts the opposition parties will win election in a landslide

Talking on a social media chat program this week, fugitive and former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra says the opposition parties, or as he described them, the “pro-democracy” parties, will win. And win with an absolute majority.

The interview was conducted on ‘Care Talk’ on the Clubhouse app on Tuesday this week. Thaksin was speaking online from his house in Dubai.

The discussion follows the current parliamentary debate over party list MPs. Party list MPs get their seats in parliament from a proportional system, not from winning the vote in their geographical province or seat.

Now the government whip has decided that there will be a free conscience vote on the matter, as the Thai PM has declared, he supports a move to calculate the party list MP by dividing the available votes by 500, instead of 100, which was previously agreed by the majority of MPs. Small parties are seen, mathematically, to be the main winners in the new system of determining party list MPs.

But some senators and government MPs fear that the new calculation method may favour the opposition parties.

Thaksin, on the Clubhouse interview, expected the pre-democracy parties to win 300 of the available 500 seats in the next parliament – the two main parties would be Pheu Thai (the party led in the past by Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck) and Move Forward Party.

“The incumbent government can continue to do what it wants to do in order to alter the possible outcome of the upcoming elections but one thing is for sure, that the pro-democracy parties are likely to win with an absolute majority.

“They can try whatever means they want but rest assured that the Democratic Front (pro-democracy parties) will get no less than 300 seats.”

The current party list system left the current parliament with a lot of small parties winning a seat, leaving the larger parties having to form alliances with the individual seat MPs to form majorities. The current ruling Palang Pracharat-led coalition is made up of 17 different parties.

The prime minister’s support of the latest party list calculation is seen to be showing support for the smaller parties and independent MPs, perhaps to garner their votes in a future parliament.

Thaksin alluded to the lessons learned during the Bangkok governor election when Palang Pracharat only won 2 out of the available 50 district seats. The new Bangkok Governor, Chadchart Sittipun, formerly a member of Pheu Thai, won in a huge individual landslide, although he ran in the Bangkok election as an independent.

Thaksin believes that Prayut is now leveraging the smaller parties to create a more supportive base for a future coalition after the next election.

The next general election will be held later this year or before March 2023. But observers say the electioneering has already started with the current PM stepping out more and appearing at events.

Every political poll has shown that both Prayut Chan-o-cha, and the current Palang Pracharat government, have lost a lot of support over the past 2 years, and would lose an election to the opposition parties.

REFERENCES: Bangkok Post | Thai Enquirer | Care Talk

Politics NewsThailand News

Tim Newton

Tim joined The Thaiger as one of its first employees in 2018 as an English news writer/editor and then began to present The Thaiger's Daily news show in 2020, Thailand News Today (or TNT for short). He has lived in Thailand since 2011, having relocated from Australia.

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