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Thailand's young people want to get rid of the military junta

Giggle, scattered exclamations, applause and try to steal a hug. Thanatorn Juangroongruangkit be received as something of a pop star when he steps out of a dark car to spread its political message at a food market in the district of Ban Bang Khen, Bangkok. Got used to posing, smiling for selfies with a steady stream of followers who then follow him, blessed by the market.

the 40-year-old Thanatorn is a rising star on the thai political sky. The newly-formed Framtidspartiet he has attracted young voters who do not want to be associated with the old conflict between the red and yellow shirts in the thai policy, grossly simplified as a struggle between the rural and the elite. The battle has characterized Thailand in the 2000s and, at times, been violent, 2010 dog close to 100, in street demonstrations, downed by the military. Four years later, the junta of, on the grounds that the country needed the law and order.

on his three-cornered party symbol signals Framtidspartiet that you want to stand for something new when the thais go to the polls on Sunday for the first time since the military took power in 2014. However, one thing is the party is clear: you want to do away with the military junta.

– If you want this country will leave the dictatorship, go and vote on Sunday. This election may change things, give us a chance, " says Thanatorn, wearing a white t-shirt with partisymbolen when he stops to give a short speech.

Thanatorn Juangroongruangkit, the leader of the Framtidspartiet in Thailand. Photo: Marianne Björklund

But even if Framtidspartiet and other parties who wish to do away with the military would take home the most votes, it is far from certain that they would be able to take over governance in the country.

During his years in power have the military, which set up with the newly established party Pracharat, made arrangements incentive for continued maktinnehav. Above all, the constitution has been rewritten in a way that makes that choice can be seen as far from fair. According to the new law, the military has the right to appoint 250 of the seats in the senate upper house. The election on Sunday is all about the remaining 500 seats in the house of commons. Thus, it is sufficient that the military secures one-third of the elective seats to get a majority.

military rule in the vacation paradise has, moreover, the freedom of expression kvästs. Compilation of over five people was prohibited until december last year, the media are censored, and critical comments about the military are banned on the grounds that they are a threat to the nation's security. Journalists, academics and former politicians have been imprisoned without trial or forced into exile. Just like anything in social media that is interpreted as disruptive can lead to a prison sentence.

Nakhorn Cheaplaem and Weawjinda Tiewthong working in the market there Thanatorn come to spread the Framtidspartiets message. The couple supports Framtidspartiet. Photo: Marianne Björklund

Still, there is some hopefulness among the thais in the face on Sunday. The choice is overdue and many young people, seven million are first time voters, say that they look forward to finally adding his voice. And their choice can play a crucial role. A quarter of the voters are in the age group of 18-35 years.

the Pair Nakhorn Cheaplaem and Weawjinda Tiewthong take a break in the to cook meatballs on the market and match up in a round of applause when Thanatorn passing by.

" We like him, he stands for something new and a clear policy without any hidden agenda. With the military, Thailand has gone backwards, we should be more successful, they say.

has been at a standstill over since the military took over. Gone is the scratching that got the country to be called tigerekonomi. Corruption is widespread and income disparities are huge. No other country in the world is so unequal, according to the bank Credit Suisse förmögenhetsrapport. The country's one percent wealthiest own more than two-thirds of the country's wealth.

To stop inkomstgapet is one of the issues Thanatorn, himself a billionaire having inherited the family bilkomponentsimperium, say, prioritize.

If anything, proves the past five years, the military can't reduce the inkomstgapet, they can not create jobs. They are a total failure, " he says to DN after a press conference inside the familjeimperiet Thai Summit Group, the skyscraper in the centre of Bangkok.

Thanatorn Juangroongruangkit. Photo: Marianne Björklund

He feels a strong tailwind before election day.

" I think it will be a landslide victory for the democratic forces. When I'm out and about is campaigning, it seems very clear that the people are tired of the military, says he dressed for the grey blazer and white shirt.

If there is enough for a regime change he is uncertain. He can very well imagine that the military clings to power. The result can be chaos.

" But I feel the anger. People are demanding a change and if the military does not stop to ask themselves over democracy, it will not stop beautiful.

Whatever he plans to continue his fight to remove the military.

" this election is not the end, it is the first step that gives us the opportunity to present our ideas and get the public to believe on our agenda. No matter if we win or lose, we will continue to campaign hard.

in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, preparing the theater Lanyim today's rehearsal. The group consists of students who have long struggled for democracy through his art, and often may spite it's forbidden) by the military.

Image 1 of 6 Theater Lanyim consists of students who are suitable for democracy through his art. Photo: Jonas Gratzer Image 2 of 6 Members of the group practice on the marching of the military. Photo: Jonas Gratzer Image 3 of 6 ”Stop dictatorship,” it says on a sticker that is seem mismatched on the back of the Nontawat Machais mobile phone. Photo: Jonas Gratzer Image 4 of 6 Photo: Jonas Gratzer Image 5 of 6 Sakda Srisirisap On the ground is Sakda Srisirisap death. He has been shot by ..... and Jeerapan Chumpol which celebrates the victory. The play contains underlying criticism mott the current government in Thailand. Photo: Jonas Gratzer Image 6 of 6 Jidapa Kongpetchsak pretend that she's holding a rifle. Photo: Jonas Gratzer Slideshow

the Leader Nontawat ”Golf” Mahai has previously been detained and gone several battles in court. Among other things he has been accused of having violated the rule not to collect more than five people. In addition, he was charged when some in the group, during a seminar where the military was present in the protest, holding up three fingers, a gesture from the hunger games that has come to symbolize a silent protest against the military dictatorship.

Even Golf's parents have been spite it's forbidden) by the military. Their son has a bad influence on young people and they should make sure that he ends up, they were told.

l before the election, his first. Wearing denim shorts and halsande on a beer bubbles he of enthusiasm. He dismisses the old conflict between the red and yellow shirts in Thailand.

" For us young people, it is about to vote on something we believe in. We are the cleaner, and select the party based on their policies, not traditions, " says Golf who has not yet decided which party will get his vote. It can be Framtidspartiet.

Leaders Nontawat Machai review the evening's drama exercises. Photo: Jonas Gratzer

He believes as many others that it can be difficult to get the military to hand over power. But the fight does not end with the choice, he says.

The upcoming election is a small first step, then comes the next round. It will be a long struggle, but the people must take power. It is in our era that a change should be made.

In the DN's visit to rehearse the group, a 30-year-old novell: ”the broken bridge”. The play is about two brothers who after the war stand on different sides, one supports the military and the other is against. Why should you shoot a man and not a bird, ask one of the brothers when his father forbids him to shoot the animal.

– the Fact is that this conflict still exists in Thailand today. That is why this is just the right time to put up this play.

the Group plays that they are in a buddhist temple. For the young progressive generation is buddhism very stigmatizing. Photo: Jonas Gratzer

in Thailand is Thaksin Shinawatra, the telekommogulen whose parties have won every election in Thailand 2001. Thaksin gets things done, he helps the poor and fights against drugs, is a common comment among followers which often are in rural areas. After allegations of corruption living Thaksin is now in exile. But he stands behind a number of parties in Sunday's elections, of which the largest is the Pheu Thai is expected to be one of the parties receiving the most votes.

" I love Thaksin. He is the rain that makes life alive again.

Mati, who runs a biffnudelrestaurang in Chiang Rai, on the border with Myanmar, beams when she talks about his political hero. The restaurant's walls are wallpapered with pictures of the former prime minister from when he had been on a visit. She thank Thaksin for her son ended up on drugs and wearing a red shirt with the text ”Thaksin 49”, the local association she has been with and started.

Drugs are common in Chiang Rai which is located near the border to Myanmar and Laos and Thaksin is considered to have reduced the problem by ensuring that the farmers could earn money from other crops. Free education and access to health care is also among the reforms made Thaksin popular. Now it looks dark, like Mati.

" the Military will find a way to do away with the other. See how quickly they banned Thai Raksa Chart. Maybe can Framtidspartiet and the next generation to do something, she reflects, and complain of fewer tourists and a worse economy.

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