Stockholm university

Open Seminar: Can the May 2023 general elections return democracy to Thailand?


Date: Thursday 20 October 2022

Time: 14.00 – 15.30

Location: C312, Stockholm Center for Global Asia (Manne Siegbahn, building C), Stockholm University

Titipol Phakdeewanich, Faculty of Political Science, Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand.

Please use this link to register for the seminar.

Titipol Phakdeewanich, Faculty of Political Science, Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand.

On the 21st of September, 2022, The Election Commission of Thailand provisionally announced a timeline for general elections within 45 days of the four-year parliamentary term ending on the 23rd of March, 2023, currently scheduled for the 7th of May, 2023. However, on the 30th of September, 2022, the Constitutional Court of Thailand ruled that General Prayuth Chan-ocha, current prime minister and leader of the Thai military coup d’état of 2014, is entitled to remain as prime minister until 2025, despite millions of Thai people, especially the younger generations, believing that the 8-year constitutional term-limit has already been exceeded.

With little more than six months remaining, many questions are asked about not only the tenability, but also the validity of this very process. Can democracy be returned, as promised, by the 2014 coup-leaders? What will be the implications for Thai democracy of the military-drafted constitution of 2017, after a 2023 general election, and its result? How can younger generations more effectively engage in Thai politics after years of military rule?

Dr Titipol Phakdeewanich completed his PhD in Politics and International Relations at the University of Warwick in 2005, and has since then been based at Ubon Ratchathani University in Thailand. He has been a “Visiting Research Fellow on Human Rights” at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Lund University, Sweden. In addition to teaching at the Faculty of Political Science, Titipol has conducted extensive fieldwork with local activist groups in the North-eastern region of Thailand (Isan), and beyond. A key component of Titipol's work has been to highlight the plight and injustice in the lives of the rural poor, to look towards finding solutions to these problems, with effects on the lives of under-represented disenfranchised and marginalised groups in Thailand. As a consequence of the military rule after 2014, Titipol was monitored for several years by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) because of his work on democracy and human rights, but he remains committed to the work to support the promotion of democracy and human rights in Thailand.