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Now, is Pheu Thai landslide possible?


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Photo from FB page พรรคเพื่อไทย

 

OPINION | by Tulsathit Taptim

 

The answer depends primarily on two factors. The first one is quite ironic considering the Palang Pracharath “conspiracy theory”, which is doing the rounds and not for the first time. The second one has to do with the “frenemy” relationship with the Move Forward Party.

 

What has happened in Parliament over the past few days has raised the prospect of a Pheu Thai sweeping election victory. The quorum collapse means the electoral system should now be settling for a two-ballot and “Divided by 100” formula, which is heavily favoured by Pheu Thai. This upcoming system would be a far cry from 2019, in which Thailand resorted to one ballot and a party-list calculation system that deprived Pheu Thai of party-list seats totally.

 

Pheu Thai emerged with an impressive 136 constituency seats in 2019 anyway, enough to be crowned champion of that election in terms of seats won.

 

One significant detail of the 2019 election is that, in terms of overall votes combined, Palang Pracharath was the champion, winning 8,433,137 votes. Pheu Thai came second with 7,920,630 votes. The Thai Raksa Chart disaster more or less contributed to these figures.

 

Full story: https://www.thaipbsworld.com/now-is-pheu-thai-landslide-possible/

 

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-- © Copyright Thai PBS 2022-08-18
 

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3 hours ago, Shuya said:

The question is, will the army stage a coup before the election, right after the election or wait a few years, after the economy has recovered and the state coffins are filled up again.

No they'll wait until the intersections are blocked all over downtown Bangkok and the Thaksin bullies shoot-up the South.  Or they decide to reduce the fertilizer needed for crops because some economic forum idiot told them it would be okay (as in Sri Lanka) or the Netherlands are planning to do.

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3 hours ago, Shuya said:

The question is, will the army stage a coup before the election, right after the election or wait a few years, after the economy has recovered and the state coffins are filled up again.

For stuffing coffins they need only ask former Thai resident Frank Lucas (American Gangster) for advice.

 

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3012795/heroin-filled-coffins-death-american-gangster-frank-lucas

 

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3 hours ago, Shuya said:

The question is, will the army stage a coup before the election, right after the election or wait a few years, after the economy has recovered and the state coffins are filled up again.

I hope you meant coffers 😉

 

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4 hours ago, Shuya said:

and the state coffins are filled up again.

with pro-democracy, anti establishment and anti military activists????

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It seems likely that there is some sort of a deal between PPRP and PT made by Prawit on the PPRP side that excludes Prayut, who is now seen as a liability. That PPRP MPs, presumably with the blessing of Prawit,  should go against Prayut to sabotage his effort to confirm the divide by 500 amendment by not showing up to make quorum doesn't make any sense unless there is an unholy alliance between PPRP and PT. Divide by 100 will eliminate the smaller parties who have supported Prayut completely as they will get no party seats and are unlikely to win constituency seats.  It will be a huge advantage to PT which will mop up party list seats.  Initially Prayut favoured divide by 100, as he naively believed PPRP was still as popular as PT and would also stand to gain a lot of party list seats.  But when the reality of the party's declining popularity, as well as his own, struck home, he launched a rear guard action to go for divide by 500, which was ostensibly agreed to by PPRP but its leadership has worked behind the scenes to sabotage the amendment to 500 and, by proxy, to sabotage Prayut from running for PM again. Most likely PPRP MPs who have failed to show up to make quorum are also hoping to jump ship and join PT as a reward for blowing up the 500 amendment.  Many of them were bought over from PT or other parties anyway and have no long term allegiances.  Prawit knows that Prayut's time is up and is eager to find a way to retain power at least behind the scenes and a pact with the devil in the form of Thaksin could facilitate that. 

 

The article mentioned Move Forward as a wild card but didn't mention anything about BJP and Anutin. I would think that PT would find it easier to do a deal with BJP than PPRP, in the event that it fails to win an absolute majority.  Anutin could also perhaps be a compromise PM candidate that the Senate might be more willing to vote for than Thaksin's daughter or another PT nominee, such as Chadchart, if he gives up the Bangkok governorship to take a PT nomination for PM. After an ineffectual response to COVID in 2021, Anutin has redeemed himself with his base by fulfilling his campaign pledge to legalise ganja and his support from his base is probably as strong as ever but BJP support is rather localized to Buriram and contiguous Northeast provinces. So it will never be big enough to be a threat to PT.  

 

I am sure PT will do very well under the divide by 100 amendment but whether they get an absolute majority or do a deal with PPRP or BJP remains to be seen. A deal with MFP seems unlikely as, although Thanathorn is not directly opposed to Thaksin, he will not want to compromise his ideals to do a deal with someone who basically has no ideals at all but is in it for power, greed and revenge. Visibly cosying up to Prawit and PPRP will make Thaksin anethema to Thanathorn and his loyal supporters.  But as the article points out, PT and MFP will be fighting for votes from the same pool.  

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20 hours ago, Shuya said:

The question is, will the army stage a coup before the election, right after the election or wait a few years, after the economy has recovered and the state coffins are filled up again.

A lot depends on what happens to Prayut after Aug 24th.

If he refuses to leave government then many will vote against the party in the election to make sure he goes.

No coup required.

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