THAILAND’S UPCOMING ELECTIONS AND THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
On May 7th, Thailand is scheduled to hold general elections in the wake of a bold new youth movement for democracy and growing public frustration with Thailand’s military leaders, who have ruled Thailand since overthrowing its democratically elected government in 2014.
Will these elections consolidate democracy in Thailand and usher in a Thai Spring, or will they only legitimize the Thai military’s existing stranglehold on power? And what impact will these elections, possibly the most important in Asia this year, have on Southeast Asia and the Asian region?
A panel of leading Thai activists, academics, and human rights leaders will outline the stakes of this next election, the underlying structural flaws in Thailand’s current constitutional system, and explore several possible post-election scenarios, including the very worrying prospect of yet another military coup should Thai opposition parties rout the military in a landslide. The panel will also discuss the prospects for Thailand’s youth-led democracy movement in Thailand and the important role of the United States in determining its democratic future.
Yingcheep Atchanont, Director of iLaw, a leading Thai democracy campaigns and policy organization
Pavin Chachavalpongpun, Political & Economic Coexistence Associate Professor, Kyoto University, Founder of 112Watch
Pongkwan Sawasdipakdi, Lecturer of international relations, Thammasat University, US-Asia Grand Strategy Fellow, University of Southern California
This event is organized by NYSEAN and sponsored by NYU Wagner.
Nicholas Bequelin, Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center