Thaksin hails MFP’s social media mastery, urges generals to retire

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Thailand’s former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, praised the Move Forward Party (MFP) for their recent election victory, attributing their success to their mastery of social media and user-generated content (UGC). Thaksin, who remains an influential figure in Thai politics despite his self-imposed exile, highlighted the party’s ability to gain votes organically without resorting to big-spending campaigns or vote-buying.

In a two-hour political discussion streamed online, Thaksin said…

“They used UGC on TikTok because the youngsters use TikTok. It’s getting votes and canvassers organically and you don’t use a lot of resources.”

The 73 year old also noted the party’s strong appeal and organisation in university towns, as well as their ability to convince parents to vote for them.

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Thaksin acknowledged that his own Pheu Thai party had not adapted enough to the changing political landscape, stating…

“Pheu Thai got hammered because we did not disrupt ourselves enough. Move Forward’s trend overcame Pheu Thai and the other parties that had money.”

He also expressed his loyalty to the palace and emphasised that Pheu Thai would not support any actions by Move Forward that would impact the monarchy.

The MFP’s victory was driven by its liberal agenda and promises of bold change, such as tackling monopolies and amending a law that prescribes long jail sentences for insulting the monarchy. They have formed a six-party alliance with Pheu Thai, hoping to attract more members to keep pro-military parties out of government in the coup-prone country, reported Channel News Asia.

Thaksin, who has been in exile for 17 years to avoid a jail sentence for abuse of power, plans to return to Thailand in July. He dismissed speculation of a secret deal with one of the generals to form a government, calling it an attempt to discredit Pheu Thai using online trolls.

He also pointed out that MFP had won support in districts with large concentrations of rank-and-file soldiers, highlighting generational differences over the military’s political role. Referring to the generals, Thaksin said…

“For the two uncles, it should be enough. Hanging up your gloves has dignity. It’s a wake-up call for the army. Using excessive power is something Thai society rejects. So it added to Move Forward’s currency.”

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Sara is a journalist and content writer who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics. Sara's journey in journalism began as a copywriter, and over time, her portfolio expanded to include articles and features for some of the nation's top lifestyle publications. Outside the office, she enjoys practising yoga and exploring hidden locations in Bangkok.

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