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Thailand Opposition Parties, After Stunning Election Win.

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Thailand Opposition Parties, After Stunning Election Win.

BANGKOK, Thailand — Thailand’s main two opposition parties began preparations for the next step of their bid to oust the military-dominated government on Monday, following a shock election triumph in which they secured a majority of seats in the House of Representatives.

The Move Forward Party, led by 42-year-old businessman Pita Limjaroenrat, won the election, outperforming most predictions. It narrowly defeated the Pheu Thai party, which was widely expected to win the election.

Despite the star power of Paetongtarn Shinawatra, daughter of Thaksin Shinawatra, the former populist prime leader who was deposed in a 2006 military coup and who is the driving force behind the party, Pheu Thai has faltered.

“The overwhelming electoral victory by Move Forward and Pheu Thai is a decisive sign that voters want a polity where the people, not the military, decide their future,” said Tyrell Haberkorn, a University of Wisconsin Thai studies scholar.

“Voters want a Thailand with free speech, without compulsory military conscription, and where the people’s voices are valued, not something to be silenced or bought,” she stated.

Pita stated on Monday that he has been in discussions with five other parties about building a coalition government. It would have 309 House seats in total, which would be more stable than the previous 292-seat partnership with Pheu Thai as the sole ally. Parliament will choose a new prime minister in July, giving them roughly two months to reach an agreement.

On Monday afternoon, supporters of Move Forward paraded through Bangkok’s streets to celebrate their triumph. Pita smiled broadly and waved as an open truck convoy brought him and other party members gently through the streets of the capital’s historic quarter.

Thailand has been led for the past nine years by former army leader Prayuth Chan-ocha, who took power in a 2014 military coup and was re-elected prime minister following the 2019 election. He ran for reelection on Sunday, but has been chastised for a sluggish economy, a bungled early reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, and stifling democratic changes – a particular irritant among younger people.

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“The sentiment of the era has changed, and it’s right,” Pita said on Monday. “And today is a new day, and hopefully it will be full of bright sunshine and hope for the future.”

Earlier, as it became evident that his party would take the lead, he stated that as the country’s 30th prime minister, he is ready to bring about change. “Whether you agree with me or not, I will be your prime minister.” I will serve you whether you voted for me or not.”

Move Forward and Pheu Thai are mainly united in their opposition to the military’s periodic meddling in politics, as seen by more than a dozen coups since Thailand became a constitutional monarchy in 1932, and most recently in 2006 and 2014.

Both parties support some aspects of monarchy reform, which irritates the traditional royalist establishment, which sees the institution as sacred. Move Forward is viewed as radical in the perspective of mainstream Thai politics since it has been more outspoken on the matter.

With nearly all votes counted as of Monday, Move Forward has won over 24% of the popular vote for 400 constituency seats and more than 36% of the votes for the 100 seats allocated under proportional representation.

The Pheu Thailand party was a close second, with a combined seat total of 141 expected.

Prayuth’s United Thai Nation Party is ranked fifth in constituency votes and third in party preferences, with a predicted total of 36 seats.

Despite the fact that the numbers favour Pita becoming the next Prime Minister, he faces a long road ahead.

Candidates are hampered by constitutional provisions created by the military regime to prevent populist political parties from taking root and upending the long-established conservative system.

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The prime minister of Thailand is chosen by a combined session of the newly elected House’s 500 members and the military’s 250 senators. The winning candidate must receive at least 376 votes.

The Senate, together with the army and the courts, voted unanimously for Prayuth in 2019, allowing him to overcome Pheu Thai’s first-place finish and form a coalition government.

There is a considerable risk that Pita will be viewed as too radical by some partner parties, forcing them to seek a more moderate candidate.

Paetongtarn, Pheu Thai’s party base, is the most favoured pick. However, her ties to her father, Thaksin, with whom the military has never reconciled since deposing him in 2006, would make gaining Senate support impossible. In that situation, real estate magnate Srettha Thavisin, another Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister, would have a stronger chance.

There are also concerns that conservative groups in Thai politics would once again use dirty techniques to maintain power. Since Thaksin’s demise, they have regularly exploited the courts and ostensibly independent state bodies like the Election Commission to produce contentious legal judgements that have crippled or sunk political threats from opponents. Such tactics would very certainly spark violent street protests.

“Is Pita’s proposed coalition, with 309 seats, stable enough?” It is the most stable in a democratic world. However, in a world of half-dictatorship in which the Senate is a key component, Move Forward must leverage the Senate with the voices of the people,” said Pinkaew Laungaramsri, an anthropology professor at Chiang Mai University.

“We’ll have to wait and see if the authoritarians will dare to use their illegitimate powers against the will of the people.” If they do that, they’re just encouraging people to return to the streets, (asterisk) she remarked.

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SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

Politics

US President Joe Biden Dismisses Calls for Cognitive Test

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US President Joe Biden - ABC News Image
US President Joe Biden - ABC News Image

In a television interview on Friday, US President Joe Biden deflected queries on his mental health in an attempt to put a stop to demands that he withdraw his reelection campaign after his dismal debate performance with former President Donald J. Trump.

Sensations of discontent among certain Democratic voters, lawmakers, and fundraisers were growing, and the one-on-one meeting with the ABC network was billed as the most important of the 81-year-old president’s lengthy career.

However, the 22-minute sit-down with  ABC’s George Stephanopoulos seemed to offer little comfort as Biden continued to downplay polls and party concerns that the debate had seriously harmed his chances while blaming illness for his poor performance.

“I was feeling sick and miserable. The president stated, “I just had a really bad cold,” in his first lengthy, unscripted statement since his confrontation with Republican challenger Donald Trump last week.

The purpose of the interview was to help Biden weather the storm, but his rough voice and rambling responses immediately prompted criticism from Democrats for coming across as “out of touch.”

“I don’t think anybody’s more qualified to be president or win this race than me,” Biden responded when asked if continuing in the race would endanger Democrats’ chances of winning the presidency.

Biden was Defiant

He declined requests for a mental health evaluation, claiming that his daily tasks as president need him to take a cognitive test. I have to pass that test every day for all I do.

As the program aired, the Trump campaign jokingly stated on social media that “Biden sounds great” before declaring that the president “is in denial and in decline.”

The interview followed Biden’s sluggish and frequently nonsensical performance in the Atlanta debate against Trump, which sent shockwaves through his party and prompted demands for him to withdraw from the contest.

The Biden team has strongly refuted any notion that he could pull out and, in the final hours before the ABC interview, unveiled a rigorous campaign itinerary for the remainder of July.

The president made a strong declaration during an animated stump speech at a Madison, Wisconsin, campaign rally: “I’m staying in the race.” Donald Trump will lose to me.

Following the debate, surveys have showed a growing margin in favor of Trump, and a number of Democratic-leaning political pundits, major newspapers, and at least four members of Congress have called for Biden to resign.

Democrats turning on Biden

US media reported that House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner were arranging crisis discussions with members in the coming days.

Throughout Friday’s interview, ABC interviewer George Stephanopoulos brought up the rising Democratic demand for a discussion on selecting a new candidate and questioned Biden about his willingness to resign if he became certain he couldn’t defeat Trump.

“Well, that depends. He responded, “I might do that if the Lord Almighty comes down and tells me that.”

After the fact, Biden clarified that he had not seen the debate, saying, “I don’t think I did, no.”

He also rejected the notion that his subpar performance was an indication of a more significant medical issue.

“It was a bad episode with no signs of a major illness.” I was worn out. In terms of getting ready, I disregarded my gut feelings, and I had a terrible night,” Biden remarked.

Top White House assistant to Barack Obama, David Axelrod, who has occasionally caused trouble for the Biden administration, claimed that the interview revealed a president who is “dangerously out of touch” and expressed doubts about his suitability for office.

He led Trump by ten points at this moment four years ago (in polls). He is now six points behind, according to Axelrod’s post on X.

According to the White House, Biden will travel to Pennsylvania this weekend and then deliver a press conference during the NATO summit in Washington the following week.

 

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Election News

President Joe Biden Says “I’m Not Going Anywhere” Vows to Stay in the Race

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President joe Biden

President Joe Biden on Thursday told supporters I’m not going anywhere” to a crowd gathered for a July Fourth barbecue on the White House South Lawn Thursday. His comments come after his disastrous debate with former President Donald J. Trump.

President Biden is facing a growing sense that he may have just days to make a persuasive case that he is fit for office before Democratic support for him completely evaporates.

In a Wednesday night meeting with Democratic governors, Biden acknowledged that he needs to get more sleep and limit evening events so he can turn in earlier to be rested for the job, according to three people familiar with the meeting, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

One person said the president joked that his health was fine, it was his brain that had challenges.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who was in the meeting, was asked Thursday by the Associated Press about the idea that Biden wants to limit events after 8 p.m. and responded: “He did that with a smile on his face. It was more of a rhetorical framework of just being fit and rested.”

Newsom, who was campaigning for Biden in western Michigan, added, “I like when a president acknowledges they’re human.”

Biden at a make of break moment

In an interview with a Wisconsin radio station that aired Thursday, Biden argued that much more than his own political future was in jeopardy, saying: “The stakes are really high. I know you know this. For democracy, for freedom … our economy, they’re all on the line.”

The interview on the Earl Ingram Show on the Civic Media Radio Network, taped Wednesday, was the part of a media and public events blitz that the Democratic president and his staff have acknowledged as a make-or-break moment.

At the July Fourth barbecue, President Biden welcomed military families formally from a lectern, but then went over to personally greet the crowd for a few moments.

He suddenly grabbed a microphone and stood in the center of the grass, explaining that there were thousands of people waiting to come into the party and he needed to duck back inside because the grounds were locked down as long as he was out there.

The president is scheduled to campaign in Wisconsin on Friday and sit for an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that will air as a prime-time special that night.

He plans to be in Philadelphia on Sunday and hold a full news conference during the NATO summit in Washington next week.

It is not a given that his campaign will survive even that long if he does not deliver a strong showing on ABC. Discussions that were once a whisper around who should step into his place should he bow out are growing louder.

For now, President Biden is not ready to walk away and he has communicated that in conversations with Democratic governors, close allies and staffers from his campaign.

Source: AP

Hunter Biden Sues Fox News Over Explicit Images Featured In A Streaming Series

Hunter Biden Sues Fox News Over Explicit Images Featured In A Streaming Series

 

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Biden Has Scheduled His First Interview After His Shaky Debate Performance

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Biden Pardons Thousands of Service Members Convicted Under Gay Sex Ban

President Joe Biden has booked his first television interview since his disastrous debate with former President Trump last week, which prompted many in his party to wonder whether he should be the Democratic nominee.

On Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET, ABC will carry portions of George Stephanopoulos’ interview with Biden on “World News Tonight with David Muir.” The extended interview will appear Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

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Biden | ABC Image

Biden Has Scheduled His First Interview After His Shaky Debate Performance

During last week’s CNN debate, Biden struggled to finish sentences and frequently appeared bewildered while Trump spewed forth falsehoods, raising serious concerns about Biden’s age and capacity to serve a second term.

The interview is a significant coup for ABC News and a watershed moment for Biden following his halting debate performance. Although Biden has made multiple public appearances since the debate, he has read prepared statements at each venue.

This will be his first unscripted appearance since the debate. Several White House supporters have publicly and privately urged Biden to quickly hold a live interview or news conference to allay concerns about the president’s understanding.

ABC did not immediately reply to a request for comment on whether it intends to publish the entire unedited interview version. Due to time limits, networks typically trim down programming interviews.

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Biden | Rolling Stone Image

Biden Has Scheduled His First Interview After His Shaky Debate Performance

Biden’s last significant interview was with David Muir in Normandy last month. He earlier spoke with CNN’s Erin Burnett on May 8 and Time magazine’s Massimo Calabresi on May 28.

According to CNN, the interview with ABC will be his fourth major televised interview in 2024. Biden has conducted fewer interviews than his prior predecessors.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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