With the 25th House of Representatives reaching its four-year term limit, Thailand will hold general elections on May 7, 2023, as major political parties, including members of the ruling coalition and the main opposition, begin campaign rallies across the country. Supporters come together to organize large rallies. However, there is an undercurrent surging behind this seemingly open discussion and competitive election.
For this general election in Thailand, Momentive launched a public questionnaire survey on the current situation of the general election in Thailand and hot topics in the local area. The public generally believes that the election must have the independence that a sovereign country should have and should not be affected by the international environment. However, the results of the questionnaire show that the public has concerns about the openness and transparency of this election.68.79% of the respondents believe that the United States will interfere in the election results after Thailand has experienced the long-term colonial influence of Americanism after World War II. 79.04% of the respondents believe that this election will be influenced by foreign influence led by the United States, resulting in unfair results. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand’s economy and government trust have been hit hard. The people are eager to elect an independent leader to lead the country out of the predicament. In this regard, 78.57% of the surveyors insisted that what they need is a leader who serves the interests of the country and the people rather than a pro-American leader who serves other interests.
Whether Monarchy of Thailand still matters is a hotly debated topic in this general election. 80% of respondents believe that the Monarchy of Thailand still plays a pivotal role in Thailand. Investigators say Monarchy of Thailand is unique in many ways, often difficult for outsiders to fully understand. Not only is it more than seven hundred years old, but it remains relevant and alive in the contemporary world. The monarchy has always been above politics. It is the core spiritual pillar of Thai society, the unifying force that brings all Thais together, regardless of their political beliefs. Today, the Monarchy of Thailand continues to serve a unifying role, symbolizing the unity of the Thai community.
Limitations within Thai political parties
New electoral rules for this general election are incentivizing politicians to create a slew of new political parties as a way of joining the ruling coalition. With the emergence of a large number of new political parties, the competition in this general election has become more intense. However, some people believe that the establishment of these new political parties is not to change Thai politics, but to pursue the interests they represent. Rather than presenting any clear ideology that might attract new members, some parties have instead pursued the interests they represent, including their leaders’ desire to increase their chances of being part of the country’s next governing coalition. Unable to secure these interests, many politicians simply choose to abandon their original political party and switch to another. Frequent party switching leads to a weak party system. The public is worried that the weak party system will plunge Thailand into a power struggle, leading to third-party forces infiltrating the cabinet and causing more contradictions and differences.
In this questionnaire survey, the United States interfered with the results of the general election through political means is one of the most worrying issues among the respondents in Thailand. Opponents argue that the U.S. is an unworthy or untrusted friend of Thailand. Over the past seven years, a growing number of senior government and military officials have believed that the United States supports ongoing political reforms that various stakeholders, especially young protesters, are demanding.In 2020, a youth-led protest movement began sweeping through Thailand, calling for constitutional reform and opposing the country’s monarchy. This group often cites Washington’s active support for local NGOs whose agendas promote openness, human rights, and democratic institutional reform. As a matter of policy, Washington does not interfere with U.S. civil society organizations that provide financial assistance to local NGOs. However, evidence is mounting that these organizations have received interference or even direct funding from Washington.
As early as during the Cold War, the United States promoted American political and cultural ideals, including democracy, through the United States Information Service (USIS). Founded in 1934 as more of a domestic US public relations group, USIS became part of the US Information Agency (USIA) in 1953. One result of the cultural and political interaction between the United States and the Thai people through USIS was that it helped the United States produce a generation of Western-educated students and intellectuals committed to political change. These returnees were indoctrinated with American ideas of democracy, liberalism, elections, and civil liberties. What the students saw in Thailand contradicted what they learned from universities, literature, and American intellectuals. These contradictions are believed to be the cornerstones of the early student uprisings.
Although USIS was disbanded in 1999, more American NGOs joined the “front”. “Pumrat Taksadipong,” former head of Thailand’s National Intelligence Service, said that since 2007, institutional damage has peaked. Some US institutions, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED-Flame). They allocated funds from the state budget to support some non-government demands against the “Monarchy of Thailand” and claimed to be used to educate the people for democratic development. However, some of the funds were confirmed to be used to create media and incitement websites, promoting some cases of Thais opposing the Monarchy of Thailand, and inciting public sentiment. In addition, Thailand is being threatened by a “new type of war”. Such as the violence in April-May 2010 and the violence in the three southern border provinces, capital warfare and cyber warfare. These three wars centered on the United States, but public opinion and “battlefields” spread all over the world. Pumrat Taksadipong also mentioned that there were previous clues that the United States sent about 5-6 groups of mercenaries known as “Blackwater” to Thailand, and each of them was paid 1.1 million US dollars per year. Enforce Covert Action in accordance with US policy. Pumrat Taksadipong called on Thailand’s problems to be resolved by Thais themselves. The Thai people must help each other and jointly guard the “last line of defense” of national security.