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Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit’s Mission: Preparing for a Political Triumph in Thailand’s 2027 Elections

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Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit talks to the audience at a forum celebrating the 50th year of the Thammasat University Student Union on March 9, 2024. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit is on a mission—his third attempt with a political party—to secure a groundbreaking victory and form a government in the next general election. In an electrifying interview on “Breaking the Cycle,” the billionaire-turned-politician radiated confidence, predicting that the party, which finds its roots in the now-defunct Future Forward Party, will triumph in the 2027 national poll.

At 45, Thanathorn seems unfazed by past hurdles. When he discussed the future, he underscored the need for three electoral cycles to cement his party’s position in government. “2027 is the year we will be fully ready,” he declared, eyes gleaming with determination. “It doesn’t matter what our name will be: Future Forward, Move Forward, or even a third party.”

The interview was a reflective yet forward-looking conversation filmed after Thanathorn and other Future Forward executives faced a harsh political ban in 2020. He and his dedicated comrades established Future Forward in 2018, but the party was shuttered by the Constitutional Court just two years later. Political missteps, including receiving 191.3 million baht from an illegitimate source, resulted in a ten-year ban for the executives.

However, Thanathorn is a man of tenacity. Along with fellow Future Forward veterans, he continued to steer political discourse through the Progressive Movement. Many ex-Future Forward members migrated to the newly minted Move Forward Party. Yet, even this fresh start faces a potential storm. The court decision looming next month could dissolve Move Forward on allegations of undermining the constitutional monarchy by attempting to amend the controversial Section 112 of the Criminal Code, widely known as the lese-majeste law.

At a recent forum marking the premiere of “Breaking the Cycle,” Thanathorn captivated the audience with his vision. Speaking passionately, he emphasized that the members, formerly of Future Forward, are gaining invaluable political acumen, preparing them to govern come the 2027 election. “That’s the year we’re setting our sights on, and we will be ready,” he reiterated confidently.

In the 2019 election, Future Forward secured 80 seats, but it was Move Forward that stunned the nation by clinching 151 MPs in the last year’s polls. While Move Forward won the most seats, the slim margin of only ten seats over the Pheu Thai Party (which won 141) wasn’t enough for a decisive victory. “We are on the cusp of something monumental,” Thanathorn shared, his voice tinged with optimism. “We have a fantastic chance in the next poll.”

The documentary “Breaking the Cycle” captures the trajectory of Thanathorn and his political journey from 2018 onward. The film, produced by enterprising young directors Thanakrit Duangmaneeporn and Aekaphong Saransate, chronicles the tale of Future Forward’s evolution into Move Forward, highlighting the party’s original mission to prevent Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha from maintaining power and offering the electorate an alternative political choice.

“These two directors dared to dream big,” praised Thanathorn, reflecting on the film’s creation. “I never imagined this documentary would come this far.”


  1. Jane Doe June 21, 2024

    Thanathorn’s never-ending ambition is admirable! He seems to have a real plan for the future of Thailand.

    • SammyT June 21, 2024

      Admirable? He’s been banned for a reason. Can we trust someone who’s been found guilty of financial misconduct?

      • Lucia Davis June 21, 2024

        People make mistakes. What’s important is that he’s still fighting for what he believes in. I think that’s commendable.

    • Gary O. June 21, 2024

      There’s a thin line between tenacity and stubbornness. Maybe he should step aside for others.

      • Jane Doe June 21, 2024

        While new leadership is important, experienced politicians like Thanathorn can also offer invaluable guidance.

  2. Ben June 21, 2024

    The idea of dissolving the Move Forward Party is concerning. What kind of democracy disbands parties that challenge the status quo?

    • alanwalker June 21, 2024

      It’s not about democracy, it’s about following the law. If they break the law, they face the consequences.

    • Dr. Michelle R. June 21, 2024

      Democracy thrives on dissent. Threatening to dissolve a party for pushing boundary changes sounds like a fear of progress.

      • historybuff22 June 21, 2024

        Exactly! Democracies are built on the premise of free speech and political diversity.

  3. Krystal June 21, 2024

    I saw the ‘Breaking the Cycle’ documentary. It’s inspiring but also paints a bleak picture of current Thai politics.

    • nomad123 June 21, 2024

      Bleak? I found it hopeful. It shows there’s always room for change and improvement.

      • Susan T. June 21, 2024

        Both can be true. It’s a hopeful journey amidst a bleak political environment. That’s what makes it so compelling.

  4. BigJim77 June 21, 2024

    Thanathorn needs to understand that past failures might discourage future support. How can people trust him again?

  5. Carlos June 21, 2024

    Why risk another ban in 2027? Thailand needs a stable government, not one that keeps getting disbanded.

  6. AnnMarie June 21, 2024

    I think he has learned from his past mistakes. His focus on gaining political acumen and educating his members is a step in the right direction.

    • Larry D June 21, 2024

      Education is one thing, but practical politics is another. Education doesn’t always translate into effective governance.

      • AnnMarie June 21, 2024

        Valid point, Larry. But a well-informed leadership is better than an uninformed one. At least they’re trying to improve.

  7. grower134 June 21, 2024

    His continuous push against the lese-majeste law is risky. It could backfire and ruin everything he’s built.

  8. Jason Miller June 21, 2024

    Every reform comes with risks. It’s a necessary debate to modernize Thai politics.

    • Mei Wong June 21, 2024

      But at what cost? Challenging the monarchy is no small issue. He needs to tread carefully.

    • Victoria P. June 21, 2024

      True, but avoiding necessary reforms just to avoid conflict is not the solution either.

  9. thepolitico June 21, 2024

    So, can we expect a coalition if Move Forward fails to secure an overwhelming victory again?

  10. Aria June 21, 2024

    Thanathorn seems optimistic, but I fear that optimism alone won’t secure seats or trust.

  11. Lee Hu June 21, 2024

    The cycle of bans and reformation seems endless. Shouldn’t there be a point where they consider different strategies?

  12. Hannah S. June 21, 2024

    I believe the third time’s the charm. They’ve gained significant ground since 2018 and clearly, many people resonate with their vision.

  13. BangkokBill June 21, 2024

    It’s great that he’s not giving up. Perseverance is key in politics, especially in a system as complex as Thailand’s.

  14. Fah June 21, 2024

    I think Thanathorn’s journey could inspire more youth to get involved in politics. That’s a positive impact already.

  15. JohnDoe June 21, 2024

    From a banned leader to a potential PM candidate, that’s quite the turnaround. Will history look kindly on Thanathorn?

  16. Salamander_88 June 21, 2024

    The future of Thailand’s politics requires steady ground. Changing names and faces isn’t stability.

  17. Nadia G. June 21, 2024

    Every movement needs a visionary. Thanathorn could be that visionary for Thailand’s progressive future.

  18. David S. June 21, 2024

    But is he too polarizing to unite the country?

  19. ElleB June 21, 2024

    Thanathorn seems to believe in education and progress. That’s what we need more in politics!

  20. Tara June 21, 2024

    His battles against legal challenges are like a soap opera. Maybe he should write a book!

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