Some new faces but old divisions to haunt Thailand’s May election

Thailand’s general election set for May 14 will bring new faces into the fray but is likely to be overshadowed by old animosity between the military-royalist establishment and popular opposition parties challenging the status quo.

The confrontation in the kingdom has shaped a tumultuous two decades of street protests, judicial intervention and coups that were quelled in recent years, largely by COVID-19 curbs, but could well play out again.

The main election contest will be between the rural-based political juggernaut founded by telecoms tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra, and the conservative, Bangkok-based political elite, dominated by pro-military forces that have ruled since the last coup in 2014.

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