“ A new Thai government has been formed, but it is like the old one. As former officials are still in office, their policies on security and border affairs are not expected to change,”

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U Aung Thu Nyein, Director of Communications at ISP Myanmar

Thai real estate tycoon Srettha Thavisin, 60, has become the 30th prime minister of the country after winning enough support from parliament. He was favored by the parliament as a prime minister candidate of Phue Thai party after splitting from Move Forward party which won the majority vote in the recent elections, and affiliated with pro-military parties.

This interview with U Aung Thu Nyein, Director of Communications at ISP Myanmar and a political analyst, is about possible impact of new prime minister on Myanmar, and their relations to Myanmar military council and its opposition groups, as well as other possible scnarios.

TLT: What are possible impacts of new Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin from Phue Thai party o Myanmar?

U Aung Thu Nyein: A new government has been formed in Thailand. A new Thai government has been formed, but it is like the old one. Just the members of Pheu Thai party involved in the new government with former old administrative group. They focus on economic development of the country. I cannot imagine the economic policy of Pheu Thai party as a government.  As many former officials are still in office, their policies on security and border affairs are not expected to change.

  TLT: Many Myanmar migrants are experiencing strict policies in applying for long- stay documents due to political turmoil in home country. Is it possible to relax some restriction?

U Aung Thu Nyein: Pheu Thai party made a manifesto commitment during the election that they will raise minimum daily wage of Thai worker from around 350 baht to  600 baht per day within five years by 2027. It will cover the migrant workers.

TLT: What are possible policies of Thailand’s new coalition government led by Phue Thai party on Myanmar?

U Aung Thu Nyein: If the Move Forward party could form the government, significant changes of policy might be seen. However, the new coalition government was formed with 11 parties led Phue Thai. Their policy cannot be predicted. Generally, they will emphasize economy of the country.

TLT: Many Myanmar political migrants are taking shelters in Thailand. Will the change of Thai new government and minister impact it?

U Aung Thu Nyein: The former Thai government had good relationship with Myanmar military council. They held bilateral meetings. However, foreign policy of new government cannot be imagined at the moment, and it is expected to relax some restrictions on access to refugee camps and to establish more shelters at their border near Myanmar.  

TLT: What are the possible developments for Myanmar people who have been waiting in Thailand to leave for third countries?

U Aung Thu Nyein: It is concerned with both Thai government and the accepting countries. Relocation cost is considerable high. Some refugees have been at the camps in Thailand for a long time. So, I cannot estimate whether they would have to live longer or not here.

 TLT: What is your concluding remark on the change of new  prime minister in Thailand?

U Aung Thu Nyein: We need to wait and see announcement of their policy as it is difficult to imagine how the new government will affect Myanmar.

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