Pheu Thai Party

Published 9th May, 2011

The Pheu Thai Party (For Thai Party) or PTP is the third reincarnation of a political party formed by Thaksin Shinawatra.

The original party, Thai Rak Thai (TRT) was founded on 15th July 1998 by Shinawatra, a wealthy Thai businessman and twenty others. In their first election in 2001 they won 248 seats but merged with the New Aspiration Party (NAP) adding 36 seats to their tally and entered into coalition with the Thai National Party (TN) which took the coalition up to 325 of the 500 seats available.

In 2005 the TRT won again, taking 376 of the 500 seats in the House of Representatives. Following a turbulent year, another general election was called in April 2006. This was boycotted by many of the opposition parties and as a result the TRT won 460 of 500 seats. However, the election was subsequently declared invalid by the Constitutional Court.

A new election was called for October 2006, but before this was allowed to go ahead a military coup on 19th September ousted the Thaksin government and declared military rule. The elections were cancelled.

On 30th May 2007 the Thai Rak Thai party was dissolved by a Constitutional Tribunal for violation of election laws.

The People’s Power Party (PPP), having been founded in 1998 became the new home for Thaksin supporters and they fought the 23rd December 2007 general election on a TRT populist agenda. They won 233 of the 480 seats and formed a coalition government with the support of a number of smaller parties.

Again the party came under scrutiny and on 2nd December 2008 the PPP was dissolved by the Constitutional Court for electoral fraud. In anticipation of that likely outcome of the Constitutional Court, on 20th September 2008, the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) was formed.

Although most of the MPs from the PPP went over to the PTP, they were not able to keep the coalition afloat and five coalition partners switched sides and joined the Democrat Party to form a new government. The PTP went in to opposition with a reduced number of MPs.

The PTP describes its ideology as populism.

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