Thailand’s moment of truth: Pita’s struggle for new regime continues

Move Forward pressured to scrap proposed royal reforms as it seeks to govern

FRANCESCA REGALADO, Nikkei staff writer and DOMINIC FAULDER, Nikkei Asia associate editor

Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat holds a “No. 1” victory pose at a news conference in Bangkok after winning the Thai general election on May 15. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

BANGKOK — As Pita Limjaroenrat took the stage in a brightly colored shirt at Bangkok’s Pride parade on Sunday, June 4, supporters were confused about how to address the 42-year-old politician. Some called out, “Mr. Prime Minister!” while their friends cautioned, “I don’t think you can call him that yet.”

Even after leading his party to a historic election victory in Thailand three weeks ago, Pita is still campaigning. He has to.

If Thailand were a normal democracy, Pita would already be in office. His Move Forward Party won 14 million votes and 151 seats in the May 14 general election. Together with seats won by allied parties, the Move Forward tide represents a crushing blow to nine years of military rule….