Prayuth Chan-ocha elected as new Prime Minister of Thailand

National Assembly of Thailand (Thailand’s Parliament) elected 2014 coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha as Prime Minister after military-backed party that nominated Prayuth won 2nd-highest number of seats in House of Representatives (lower house of Thailand’s Parliament) in a general election held in March 2019.

Key Highlights of Thailand Election

  • Prayuth was elected for a second term by a margin of 500 to 244 votes against his opponent Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of Future Forward party.
  • Prayuth was candidate of military-backed Palang Pracharath party that won 115 seats (in 500-member House of Representatives) against its rival, Pheu Thai party that won 136 seats is associated with self-exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
  • His candidature was also supported by 11 small political parties in Thailand to form next government in Thailand.
  • Palang Pracharath party is seen as a proxy for Thai military, which seized power in a 2014 coup. Prayuth Chan-Ocha who was coup leader also served as prime minister in military government before becoming a candidate to run for office of head of an elected government.
  • Prayuth did not run for office in Thailand’s election that concluded in March 2019. The constitution enacted under military junta headed by him does not require that Prime Minister comes from Parliament.
  • Although the formation of new government headed by Prayuth Chan-Ocha will finally return Thailand officially to civilian rule but it will be done under a new political system enacted led by junta Prayuth and its appointees.
  • His appointment will become official when it is endorsed by recently crowned King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand.

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