The Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha, has dissolved the Thai Parliament on Monday, a decision that opens the way to legislative elections in May.
The elections, the second since the 2014 coup, have to be held between 45 and 60 days after the dissolution of the institution, probably on May 7 or May 14, according to the Thai press. The body in charge of supervising the elections will announce the official date in the coming days.
The election pits the unpopular Prayut, who rose to power in a military coup, against the daughter of tycoon and former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the army's arch-enemy who remains politically active despite being in exile for more than a decade. Several weeks ago, the electoral campaign began unofficially in the second largest economy in Southeast Asia.
Prayut, 68, who consolidated himself at the helm of the country in 2019 in controversial elections, has remained in power for a relatively long period for a country with numerous coups in its history (a dozen since the end of the monarchy absolute in 1932).
Two months before the elections, Prayut, weighed down by a mediocre economic balance, is competing against the main opposition party, Pheu Thai, which obtained almost half of the voting intentions according to a poll released on Sunday (compared to 12% for the formation of Prayut).
His boss, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, 36, is the new face of the billionaire family whose opposition to the army has structured the country's political life for more than 20 years. Her father Thaksin was prime minister from 2001 to 2006 before he was ousted. Her aunt Yingluck led the government from 2011 to 2014, until the Prayut coup.
"I have great hope in forming a government," he declared last Friday to the press. "We are campaigning for a sweeping victory, because a sweeping victory will make us strong enough to form a government," he added.
The 2017 constitution, written by the military junta, forces Pheu Thai, who is aiming for 310 of the 500 seats in the lower house, to reach a comfortable majority to govern, which will be difficult for observers.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project