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PacNet #33 – Thailand’s July 3 Elections: Have the Thais Empowered ASEAN Anew?

Elections around Southeast Asia have assumed a new and empowering role in defining the region’s political outlook. Beginning with Indonesia’s historic transition from autocracy to nascent if chaotic democracy, the people of ASEAN are using the ballot box to send strong messages. This trend was underlined by the strong performance of Yingluck Shinawatra and her opposition Puea Thai Party in the July 3 elections in Thailand. Yingluck announced the following day that she would form a coalition government composed of five parties, led by her own (Puea Thai won 265 seats), which together will control 299 of the 500 seats in Thailand’s parliament.