James Jay Carafano
Two major opposition parties won a substantial majority in the Thai National Assembly’s lower house, an unprecedented and significant shift in political power over the military-dominated government. The Move Forward party, a new progressive party, placed first in the polls, followed by the Pheu Thai party, a populist party founded by a former prime minister that has long dominated Thailand’s opposition. Pheu Thai leaders have indicated that they plan to join a Move Forward-led coalition government.
What’s the bottom line? The election is unlikely to lead to a fundamental shift in U.S.-Thai relations. Thai foreign policy prefers to follow ASEAN’s general practice of not being seen as too close to either the U.S. or China.