Thai largest party leader, Pita, says new democratic chapter beginning

The leader of Thailand's largest political party, Pita Limjaroenrat, says a new, democratic chapter is beginning in his country, nine years after the military seized power in a coup.

The head of Move Forward Party spoke in an exclusive interview with NHK on Wednesday.

The opposition party won the May 14 lower house election, but failed to achieve a majority. This week, Move Forward and seven other parties agreed to work toward forming a coalition government with Pita as prime minister.

About the victory of his party, which calls for removing the military's influence on politics, Pita said that the people had lost hope, but now they want to "go into the future, rather than going back to the past."

For Pita to become prime minister, support is needed from not only lower house members, but also senators, who were appointed under the military government.

Asked about the likelihood of his assuming the post, Pita indicated senators should look at the election results. He said what is important is not whether they like or dislike him, but rather the value of Thailand.

On forming a coalition government, Pita said Thailand is at the beginning of a "democratic new chapter." He also said politicians, the government and the parliament should restore transparency to regain trust.

He called on Japan and other members of the international community to help democracy thrive in Thailand.

As Russia continues its aggression in Ukraine and China increases its maritime activity, Pita made clear he opposes any changes to the status quo by force.

He said it is time for middle powers, including Thailand, to have a say at a time when major powers are polarized.

He expressed his intention to have Thailand actively engage in diplomacy as a country of the so-called Global South -- a grouping of developing and emerging nations.