Progressive Movement 'sorry' for poll failure
Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Progressive Movement, on Monday apologised to voters after group candidates failed to win in the Provincial Administrative Organisations chairman elections on Sunday.
Mr Thanathorn took to Facebook Live to say the group was defeated in the elections because it did not work hard enough to garner enough votes to win. He then apologised to people who voted for the group's candidates.
The group, formerly known as the Future Forward Party, fielded candidates to contest PAO chairmanships in 42 provinces.
Although the group failed to secure a single chair, 2.67 million people voted for its candidates, Mr Thanathorn said.
The number of people who supported the group in the PAO polls did not decrease when compared with the votes Future Forward received in last year's general election, he noted.
The party gained 3,183,163 votes or 16.2% of eligible voters in the general election and 2,670,798 votes or 17% of the eligible voters in the polls on Sunday.
The group managed to win 55 council seats in 18 provinces during the provincial elections on Sunday.
Asked if the group's performance in the PAO polls was a result of its stance on the monarchy, Mr Thanathorn acknowledged the question by saying the issue of the monarchy is still sensitive in Thai society. However, it was undeniable that a lot of people wanted to see changes, he added.
He said the the group's views towards the monarchy did affect the election results.
Phichit Likhitkitsombun, former lecturer at the Faculty of Economics at Thammasat University, posted a message on Facebook saying the Movement should learn from the results of the PAO polls, noting a local election is different to a national one.
The older generation dominates local politics, Mr Phichit said, noting political ideology was not important at this level.
Samart Janechaijitravanit of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party on Facebook said the PAO election results speak for themselves.