The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Thailand's youth reject the generals

By Ishaan Tharoor

17 May 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

The Post explains how a young generation of voters in Thailand has rejected the military-backed establishment, bringing about a major shift in the country's political landscape.

Psephologists in the United States have long puzzled over the demographic moment when a younger generation of voters will form the single most important critical mass in American elections. In Thailand, it appeared to happen Sunday. Analysts had expected the country's electorate to reject the military-backed establishment that has been in power since a 2014 coup. But they hadn't quite predicted the extent to which voters would turn to an upstart faction, powered by Millennial and Gen Z energy.

The progressive Move Forward Party, led by 42-year-old Ivy League-educated business executive Pita Limjaroenrat, pulled off a stunning result, coming in first with a predicted 152 seats in the 500-seat lower house. In second with likely 141 seats was Pheu Thai, the main opposition party, led by Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the 36-year-old daughter of exiled populist former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

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