onsdag 17. mai 2023

Pita Limjaroenrat: Who is the leader of Thailand's Move Forward party?

"Today is a new day, and hopefully it is full of bright sunshine and hope," 42-year-old Pita Limjaroenrat told a room packed with reporters and flashing cameras, hours after it had become clear that he could well be Thailand's next prime minister.

Mr Pita's party, Move Forward, which in Thai evokes leaps of change, has swept to a surprising and stunning victory. Voters rejected nearly a decade of army-backed rule, handing more seats and votes to Move Forward than any other party. That is is no mean achievement in a country that has experienced at least a dozen successful coups. "The sentiment of the era has changed. And it was the right timing," Mr Pita said, speaking at the party's headquarters in Bangkok, where it had won 32 of the city's 33 seats.

The business of forming a government is still weeks away. It can also get messy, given that Thailand's military still has the power to play kingmaker. But the win has put the spotlight on Mr Pita and his party, who have built a strong following among young voters disillusioned by years of military rule and hungry for change.