Thai voters headed to the polls on Sunday in a hotly contested election that will determine whether Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the general who seized power in a coup in 2014, is unseated by his rivals.
An observer of Thai politics has called the election the most consequential one in his lifetime.
Opinion polls show that many voters want change, backing opposition parties that have promised to restore democratic rule in Thailand and roll back some of the authoritarian policies introduced by Mr. Prayuth.
There is a broad sentiment that Mr. Prayuth has done little to boost the economy after nine years in power. His harsh crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Bangkok in 2020 has also alienated many voters.
“If we end up with more or less the same kind of government that we’ve had for years, there’ll be a lot of unhappiness, a lot of grievances in Thailand,” said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a political scientist at Chulalongkorn University, referring to the country’s economic…
This article was written by Sui-Lee Wee and originally published on www.nytimes.com