After five years under the junta’s rule, Thailand is finally holding a general election on 24 March. This is the first election in eight years, if we don’t count the 2014 general election, which faced severe obstruction and violence and was subsequently ruled invalid by the Constitutional Court. Due to this long break, Thailand now has a larger than ever group of first-time voters. According to elect.in.th, in 2011, when the last successful election took place, first-time voters made up 1.96% of all eligible voters, whereas right now, first-time voters make up 13.74%.
On 7 March 2019, the Constitutional Court of Thailand ruled to dissolve the Thai Raksa Chart Party (TRC), claiming that the TRC’s nomination of former princess Ubolratana Mahidol as their candidate for Prime Minister was in opposition to the constitutional monarchy. To many, the verdict was not entirely unexpected. Nevertheless, the court’s ruling is another in a series of political earthquakes which have shaken Thailand in the period leading up to the general election on 24 March 2019, triggering a chain of reaction from the moment the verdict was delivered.