Ruling party’s floundering popularity could reverse with the end of Covid in sight

The floundering popularity of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha and the ruling Palang Pracharat Party could see an uptick as the number of vaccination increases and the country inches closer to reopening, an analyst said Friday.

The coalition government, led by Prayut and the PPRP Party, has been met with increasing criticism from the opposition and from members of the public due to their disastrous Covid-19 response. Nearly 1.4 million people have been infected and over 13,500 people have died.

The last two weeks have also brought internal rifts to light with an attempted putsch by Party Secretary-General Thammanat Prompao shot down at the last second and resulted in his removal from his ministerial position.

But despite months of street protests, constant criticism from the public, an analyst said that the government could see its fortune change as the worst part of the pandemic comes to an end.

“Obviously, we’re not there yet but as the country moves towards being fully vaccinated and opens up, the economy will recover quickly and the government might regain some of its lost popularity,” said Thai political analyst Arun Saronchai.

“All electorates are fickle and though this scar may take some time to heal, a booming economy could act as a panacea.”

According to Arun, the government has a clear majority in government and barring anymore internal fighting will likely make it to the end of the mandate next year.

“Prayut knows that if he calls an election now or dissolves the house now, they’re going to lose seats and perhaps the government. He has to get his house in order and make sure that next year is a boom year for the economy,” he said.

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