Brussels, May 18, 2023
Protection International celebrates the results of the general elections in Thailand, which exceeded expectations and represent an important victory for the large, brave, and creative movement for democracy formed by women, activists, youth, human rights defenders, and thousands of Thai people. These defenders and activists have been mobilizing massively to replace the 2017 junta-backed Constitution with a new, democratic constitution. The results of this election validate the will of the Thai people
The Move Forward Party has won the most seats and the largest share of the popular vote by capitalizing on its groundswell of support, especially young voters. Move Forward leads an alliance of eight parties representing approximately 313 out of the 500 lower house seats.
However, there are no assurances that the alliance will be able to form a coalition government. This is due to the fact that 250 military-appointed members of the upper house, which was put in place following the military coup, will also have the right to vote on the next government.
Numerous civil society actors, including Protection International, are now calling on the Thai authorities to protect and uphold the will and rights of the people, who came out massively to vote for a democratic reform. Protection International together with human rights defenders will continue to work in defense of people’s right to defend human rights and call on the government and authorities to take necessary steps to protect civic freedoms and democracy.
“The urgent task of the government is to work towards solving the crisis people is facing, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recession. It is crucial to address fundamental rights and freedoms that have been suppressed over the past decade. Additionally, tackling inequality and ensuring the protection of women and human rights defenders are vital tasks. We hope that senators will vote for the elected Prime Minister and later work towards rewriting the people’s constitution, paving the way for a truly inclusive democracy based on human rights and justice”, stated Pranom Somwong, PI Country Representative in Thailand.
“Protection International stands alongside the will of the Thai people! This victory reflects the genuine democracy that human rights defenders have been fighting for. Much work still lies ahead before human rights and democracy defenders, including the next ideal stop to replace draconian laws that do not serve the interests of the people. We stand by the fight for a constitutional change that is by the people and for the people. Nevertheless, for now, let us take a moment to enjoy the victory of the democratic will!”, Mae Ocampo, PI Executive Director.