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Aug 24, 2023 / 11:57

A marriage of convenience

The enmity used always to be very durable while marriages of convenience are often short-lived.

Finally, Thailand has got its new prime minister after months of political uncertainty. The 60-year-old Bangkok-based real estate tycoon Srettha Thavisin, relatively new to Thai politics, received votes from 482 out of 747 lawmakers in the two-chambers-parliament. Among them, almost more than 150 from a total of 250 Senat members chosen by the military.

 Srettga Thavisin at a meeting of PHeu Thai's party on August 21. Photo: VNA/AFP


 Srettga Thavisin's Pheu Thai party formed a coalition government with 10 other parties, among them the party of outgoing Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha and the party of Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon. In 2014, the military under the leadership of General Prayuth Chan-o-cha unleashed an unbloody military coup and overthrew the Pheu-Thai-led civil government. He has ruled this country since then. The two archenemies have just entered into a marriage of convenience.

 

It is good for Thailand to finally have a new government that isn't directly led by the military or disguised under the outfit of political parties. But the cohabitation between these two archenemies is very fragile and the governmental instability is as good as preprogrammed. Only the shared wish to prevent a snap parliamentary election, the same firm will govern the country, and the ultimate intention of the military-related parties not to let the real winner of the recent parliamentary election, the Move Forwards Party, come to power have welded them together. The enmity was always very durable, while marriages of convenience are often short-lived.

 

All factions in the new ruling coalition in Thailand are surely aware of this fact. They have just managed a successful beginning. But "the devil is in the details". The challenges they are facing now are to preserve their internal cohesion and team spirit and to overcome Thailand's politically and socially deep and profound division. They have already got their chance. The open question is only whether they would successfully take it.

 

The common power play between the archenemies is an until now unseen political and power experiment in Thailand. It is a precedent, too. It will work as long as the rational could overpower the sentiment. That it would work can't now be taken for granted.

 

Thailand has got rid of one deadlock. But many others are already visible ahead of the new coalition government. Therefore, in the coming times, it will be very interesting to watch what is domestic-politically going on in Thailand. As people often say anyway, the time is the most objective judge and referee.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by Ambassador Tran Duc Mau are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Hanoi Times.