A special guest at a rally organised by the Australian Alliance for Thai Democracy in Gadi/Sydney on May 20 was the popular Thai dissident and scholar Dr Pavin Chachavalpongpun.
In this exclusive interview with Green Left, he shared his perspectives on the outcome of the May 14 general election in Thailand.
Chachavalpongpun has been living in exile in Kyoto, Japan, since 2014, after he was branded an "enemy of the state" by Thai authorities. He is currently visiting members of the Thai community in several cities across Australia.
Chachavalpongpun explained in this interview that while the election result was a "good step forward" for the democracy movement, there were still several obstacles in the way of the pro-democracy Move Forward Party and Pheu Thai (the party associated with former Prime Minister Shinawatra Thaksin) from forming government.
This is despite them winning 293 (Move Forward with 152, Pheu Thai with 141) of the 500 seats in the House of Representatives.
Under the undemocratic 2016 Constitution, written by the 2014 military coup regime, the PM has to be elected by a joint sitting of the House of Representatives and 250 military-appointed Senators.