News analysis

Pro-marijuana liberalisation party may prove kingmaker in Thai polls

Bhumjaithai Party, with its 39 constituency seats, could play a key role if it backs junta

The Pheu Thai Party's candidate for prime minister, Ms Sudarat Keyuraphan, leaving after a news conference yesterday. PHOTO: AFP
Pro-military Palang Pracharath Party leader Uttama Savanayana speaking to reporters at the party's headquarters in Bangkok yesterday. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha arriving at Government House in Bangkok yesterday. The Bhumjaithai Party, which grabbed headlines with its pledge to liberalise marijuana cultivation, is now a kingmaker which could decide if the Prime Minister and junta chief gets to come back as premier. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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With no clear winner in Thailand's general election on Sunday, the kingdom's parliamentary politics has now entered unpredictable territory not seen in two decades.

From now until May, when official results are released, politicians could jump ship or be disqualified, radically changing the dynamics of the 500-seat Lower House.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2019, with the headline Pro-marijuana liberalisation party may prove kingmaker in Thai polls. Subscribe