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Turbulent Thailand

Thai opposition intensifies social media offensive before election

Spread of smartphones raises hope of ousting junta in first poll since 2011

Thailand's general elections in March is in part being fought out on social media. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

KHON KAEN, Thailand -- The Thai general election on March 24 will be the first since the widespread use of social media in the country and could yield clues to how these new ways of information dissemination affect the fortunes of political parties.

One of the parties that has seized on social media to promote itself is the Future Forward Party, led by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, a young billionaire who made his money in manufacturing auto parts. Hashtags related to him and his party dominated Thai Twittersphere after the political neophyte performed impressively during a recent public debate on party policies, pitting himself against pro-junta groups.

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