Opinion: Pheu Thai’s Faustian folly

The political landscape of Thailand has always been tumultuous but it has taken a tragic turn in the past 48 hours. The Pheu Thai Party, long touted by its supporters as politically savvy, finds itself caught in a tumultuous predicament, one of its own making.

A Faustian pact, sealed in the smoky backrooms of Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Singapore, has led the Pheu Thai Party on a road to perdition. The strategy the Pheu Thai Party adopted was marred by poor calculations and a sense of impatience.

The party had a clear alternative strategy available: they could have chosen to consolidate an opposition bloc with the Move Forward Party (MFP) or to continue an alliance with the eight pro-democracy parties. Either strategy would have allowed them to exert a collective pressure on the senate and the conservative establishment. Just consider this – a pause of eleven months would have rendered the unelected senate a spent force. A mere blip on the political radar.

Yet they chose a more direct route – one that would see their leader come back home quicker, one that would allow them to be the main players in government. This decision was made without the careful consideration that is crucial to navigating the backstabbing nature of Thai politics.

This haste, more akin to folly than courage, has threatened the hard-earned gains that the tireless pro-democracy voters and leaders have so painstakingly worked for.

The moment that Pheu Thai detached itself from MFP, the conservative establishment seized its opportunity. A court ruling postponed the vote, and just as quickly, backroom negotiations gained pace. Bhumjai Thai and Palang Pracharath, once spent forces, now brim with confidence as they see the divide between the MFP and PT. Emboldened by Pheu Thai’s folly, they are ready to make their move.

And now, as the story unfurls its bitter and unanticipated chapters, the Pheu Thai’s haste and hubris might force onto the Thai people the prospect of Anutin Charnvirakul or Prawit Wongsuwan as their prime minister.

The situation is a classic example of how a single miscalculation can have far-reaching effects. One man’s ambition and a party’s incompetence have led to a significant setback in Thailand’s road to democracy.

While it is too early to predict the future, one thing is clear – the Pheu Thai Party’s actions have caused a major shift in Thai politics. It remains to be seen how the situation will unfold and whether the party will be able to recover from this debacle. For now, however, it seems that the party’s impatience and ill-calculated decisions may have compromised the democratic future that many Thais had dreamed of and fought for.


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