Anatomy: Future Backward
- Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 41, Number 2, August 2019
- pp. 153-162
- View Citation
- Additional Information
The most popular man in Thailand appears out of the bushes on Thammasat University campus, dripping with sweat and with no staff in sight: Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit is promptly mobbed by fans clamouring for selfies and autographs. Voters on Bangkok's Charoenkrung Road look delighted to see a former prime minister out on the campaign trail: eager to show off his fitness, Abhisit Vejjajiva practically runs up some footbridge steps, leaving the local candidate panting behind. A Pheu Thai candidate asks a village crowd in Ubon Ratchathani to raise their hands if they are better off now than they were five years ago: everyone roars with laughter at a woman who puts her hand up by mistake, since nobody could possibly be better off. In Pattani, thousands of people stay until midnight at a football ground to hear prominent speakers from the Prachachart Party. No big outdoor rallies like this have been held after dark in the three insurgency-affected southern border provinces since 2004.