- An FTCR survey showed that Thais are more pessimistic about the current political situation than at any time since the military took power in May 2014.
- Our research also showed that Thais think the political environment is unlikely to improve over the next six months.
- Most respondents believed the election, now promised for November 2018, will slip to 2019 or later.
The one-year mourning period for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej drew to an end last week with an elaborate five-day cremation ceremony. Meanwhile, the latest consumer survey from FTCR indicated Thais are now more pessimistic about politics than at any point since the military seized power in May 2014.
Most responses to our survey were collected shortly before October 10, when the junta reiterated its promise for a November 2018 election. Nevertheless, the military government has for months pointed to late 2018 as the likely timeframe. Yet Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has sent many mixed signals. During his visit to the White House in early October, he appeared to promise the election would be held in late 2018, only to backtrack days later to say the date would be announced in November 2018 (implying the vote would actually occur around April 2019). But shortly after this, the government reiterated its plan to hold the election in November 2018.