WASHINGTON: Thailand is in a "delicate phase" after the May 14 election and the goal of the United States is to support an "effective, stable, democratic government" there, a top US official for the Indo-Pacific region said on Tuesday.
"We've watched carefully the election," White House Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell told the Hudson Institute think tank. "This is a delicate phase in terms of the formation of a government."
The opposition Move Forward and Pheu Thai parties dominated in last month's election in Thailand, dealing a resounding defeat of conservative parties backed by a military that has controlled government since Thailand's last coup on May 22, 2014, which ousted the Pheu Thai-led administration.
They have been seeking to form a coalition government with six other parties. However, Move Forward leader and prime ministerial front-runner Pita Limjaroenrat faces an uphill battle to woo members of an unelected, conservative-leaning Senate to back him in a legislative vote on a prime minister expected by August.
On Tuesday, Mr Pita played down an effort to disqualify him over a stock ownership issue, insisting he violated no rules and that rivals were determined to keep him from the top job.
The US is seeking to boost ties with allies and partners throughout Asia at it pushes back against China's expanding power, and Campbell said Washington wanted to sustain a strong bilateral relationship with Thailand, its oldest treaty ally in the region.
"Many companies are invested there; we have strong military programs and engagements with the Thai armed forces," the US official said.
"I think it is undeniable that the politics of Thailand have been unstable and complicated," he said, adding: "I think our goal would be to support an effective, stable, democratic government in Thailand and then work consequentially with it."