People in Thailand are getting ready for the country’s first general election since the military took power in a coup 5 years ago. The vote this Sunday will be crucial in determining whether the country returns to democracy. Demands for the poll from inside and outside the country mounted as the military-led government repeatedly delayed it for years.
The military has expanded its influence and aims to retain power. So it’s no surprise this election is widely seen as a showdown between pro-military and pro-Thaksin parties.
There’s still criticism of the junta leader, Prayut, who is known for the tough measures he took to shield himself from scrutiny. He’s frequently criticized by international rights groups for restrictions his regime has imposed on freedom of speech.
So everyone will be watching to see how many seats the anti-junta parties win. If they gain enough control, it might mean Prayut will have to enter coalition negotiations with other parties. And he may need to employ an entirely different skill set from what he’s depended on for the last 5 years.