Thailand's opportunity to 'move forward'

Pita Limjaroenrat: Thailand's opportunity to 'move forward'.

by Shania Dedigama 16-05-2023 | 11:47 AM

Born in 1980, Pita is the son of the former advisor to the minister of Agriculture. Pita is also the nephew of the former secretary to the Thai Interior minister, it is predictable then, that Pita would join the government service as soon as he came of age to do so. As a young boy, Pita gained the initial stages of his primary education in Bangkok before being sent to New Zealand for his secondary education. It is here that Pita's admiration for politicians and politics crystallized. Subsequent to obtaining a Bachelors degree in Finance from the Thammasat University in Bangkok, Pita was awarded a scholarship from the University of Austin, Texas. His academic performance made him the first Thai student to be afforded an opportunity to follow a Master of Public Policy program at Harvard University. He went on to describe himself as an American product of public policy schools. 

In 2018, Pita joined the Parliament of Thailand, but before doing this he had built a reputation of being a promising young businessman and leader. By the age of 25, Pita had worked as the head of Grab (an Asian taxi-hailing app) and saved his father's agro-business from bankruptcy. In 2017, The Tatler magazine added him to the list of most promising young talents in the region. 

Why is Pita's success in the recent election unprecedentedly remarkable? 

For a decade, Thailand has been submitted to military rule. Pita as the leader of the 'Move Forward'party, is the promising young Ivy-educated politician who has the potential to end that. His liberal opposition party has been largely favoured in the recent general elections and Pita is pitted to be the next Thai Prime Minister. In an interview with Bloomberg in April this year, Pita outlined his goals as being 2 pronged; to demilitarize, decentralize and de-monopolize. The party promises to reverse the years of slow economic growth, to end military conscription and to diversify Thailand's tourism dependent economy. 

Pita's political agenda, portfolio and campaign have won over younger voters who place their trust in the young politician. Impressionable younger voters are thrilled with the prospect of Pita's political earthquake and an end to military rule in Thailand. The liberal party's electoral win is sufficient to form a majority and pit him as a candidate for Prime Minister.