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Grassroots Power Surge: Move Forward Party Defies Expectations – Is this the Thai Political Revolution?

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As the Move Forward Party gains traction, campaign adviser Pannika Wanich asserts that their increasing popularity is not just a temporary phenomenon and the party is prepared to be the central force in forming a government. Speaking in Chiang Rai during a campaign stop, Pannika shared the party’s vision for change, criticizing elected parties that prioritize their political donors, supporters, and generals over the people who voted for them.

She emphasized that unlike other parties, Move Forward is funded by grassroots members of the public and has a strong position against receiving financial support from political donors. Recent opinion polls place the Pheu Thai and Move Forward parties far ahead of the competition in the May 14 election, with Pheu Thai’s lead potentially shrinking due to voters doubting their commitment to not partnering with military-backed parties.

Meanwhile, Move Forward campaign rallies have attracted thousands of participants, rivaling or even surpassing Pheu Thai’s crowds. Pannika expressed confidence in the party’s readiness to be the core party in forming the next government and dismissed talks of conservative forces attempting to dissolve the party. She argued that even if the party were to be dissolved, a new one would be formed in its place since Move Forward belongs to the people.

Pannika also addressed criticism that the party’s popularity is fleeting, asserting that the overwhelming turnout in their campaign rallies across provinces demonstrates they have the support of a significant number of “natural voters”—far more than the now-dissolved Future Forward Party. The Future Forward Party shocked many after securing 6.3 million votes as the third-largest party in the 2019 general election, only to be dissolved by the Constitutional Court over a co-founder’s loan that violated election rules.

Reborn as Move Forward, their presence in the House reduced to 51 MPs due to defections following Future Forward’s dissolution. The Move Forward Party has now launched five campaign caravan tours scheduled to visit every region in the country before culminating in a grand rally in Bangkok on May 12. Led by party heavyweights, these caravans will emphasize the importance of supporters turning out to vote in the May 14 election.

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