CLIENTELISTIC NETWORKS IN THE 2019 THAI GENERAL ELECTION: EVIDENCE FROM ROI-ET PROVINCE
Thailand's March 2019 election results have become noteworthy evidence of the power generated by local forces within constituencies. This article questions how political parties and local networks work toward achieving success in elections, particularly the upcoming local elections. Qualitative fieldwork was conducted in Roi-Et province, the strong political base of prominent anti-Junta parties and a region closely watched by the Military Junta. The study found that clientelistic strategies are used in electoral mobilization. This comprises cooperation between local politicians and vote canvassers, as well as vote-buying, including through infrastructure projects launched by the Junta government. Furthermore, the political landscape of the province is dominated by clientelistic networks, which involves political figures and potential group members who are perceived according to their function and are generally part of the families attached to political parties. Observation of various parties' involvement in elections demonstrated that political families are at the core of both competition and cooperation at several levels. These families also actively engage in local activities to maintain and strengthen their authority.
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