Post-electoral confusion in Thailand

Post-electoral Confusion In Thailand

The outcome of Thailand’s first post-coup election was still unclear on March 26 with no party taking a decisive lead, amid concerns over alleged voting irregularities and delays in the release of official results.

It appeared the pro-military party Palang Pracharat was neck and neck with the main opposition Pheu Thai Party, which is aligned with ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The election were the first since the military took power in a coup in 2014 and are widely considered to be a contest between the pro-military bloc that wants junta leader Prayut Chan-o-cha to remain in power and pro-democracy forces fighting to restore democracy to the country.

With 95 per cent of the vote counted, Pheu Thai won 137 out of 350 seats, the Election Commission said on March 25. The pro-military party Palang Pracharat took 97 seats. Parties are still waiting to hear how many party list lawmakers they will get — 150 are up for grabs in the lower house and they could prove decisive in who wins a majority.

It was enough for Thaksin-aligned Pheu Thai to announce that they would form a coalition government with any third party that does not support the return of the military.

“We have been chosen to come in number one (in constituency lawmakers) therefore we will start to form a government as we have received consensus from people,” Suradat Keyurapan, a prime ministerial candidate for Pheu Thai, said.

Pheu Thai may be premature, however, as they will need to gain 376 seats to form an outright majority. It is unclear if they can muster enough support to achieve that with a legislature critics say is tipped in favor of Wthe military.

With regards to the popular vote, as of March 25, Palang Pracharat inched ahead with 7.69 million votes, while Pheu Thai Party received 7.2 million votes.

The Election Commission, however, said that the ultimate result would not be released before May 9, after the new king’s coronation.

The decision of the EC to delay and then drip feed the results has prompted criticism from many observers. There have been growing complaints about discrepancies in the voter turnout and number of ballots cast. Officials have said there were some cases of “human error” in reporting the data.

Critics have also pointed to vote counting irregularities including nearly two million votes that were disqualified as “bad ballots.” Shinawatra, in an interview with BBC, said there was “evidence” of such irregularities.

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The outcome of Thailand's first post-coup election was still unclear on March 26 with no party taking a decisive lead, amid concerns over alleged voting irregularities and delays in the release of official results. It appeared the pro-military party Palang Pracharat was neck and neck with the main opposition Pheu Thai Party, which is aligned with ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The election were the first since the military took power in a coup in 2014 and are widely considered to be a contest between the pro-military bloc that wants junta leader Prayut Chan-o-cha to remain in power and...

Post-electoral Confusion In Thailand

The outcome of Thailand’s first post-coup election was still unclear on March 26 with no party taking a decisive lead, amid concerns over alleged voting irregularities and delays in the release of official results.

It appeared the pro-military party Palang Pracharat was neck and neck with the main opposition Pheu Thai Party, which is aligned with ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The election were the first since the military took power in a coup in 2014 and are widely considered to be a contest between the pro-military bloc that wants junta leader Prayut Chan-o-cha to remain in power and pro-democracy forces fighting to restore democracy to the country.

With 95 per cent of the vote counted, Pheu Thai won 137 out of 350 seats, the Election Commission said on March 25. The pro-military party Palang Pracharat took 97 seats. Parties are still waiting to hear how many party list lawmakers they will get — 150 are up for grabs in the lower house and they could prove decisive in who wins a majority.

It was enough for Thaksin-aligned Pheu Thai to announce that they would form a coalition government with any third party that does not support the return of the military.

“We have been chosen to come in number one (in constituency lawmakers) therefore we will start to form a government as we have received consensus from people,” Suradat Keyurapan, a prime ministerial candidate for Pheu Thai, said.

Pheu Thai may be premature, however, as they will need to gain 376 seats to form an outright majority. It is unclear if they can muster enough support to achieve that with a legislature critics say is tipped in favor of Wthe military.

With regards to the popular vote, as of March 25, Palang Pracharat inched ahead with 7.69 million votes, while Pheu Thai Party received 7.2 million votes.

The Election Commission, however, said that the ultimate result would not be released before May 9, after the new king’s coronation.

The decision of the EC to delay and then drip feed the results has prompted criticism from many observers. There have been growing complaints about discrepancies in the voter turnout and number of ballots cast. Officials have said there were some cases of “human error” in reporting the data.

Critics have also pointed to vote counting irregularities including nearly two million votes that were disqualified as “bad ballots.” Shinawatra, in an interview with BBC, said there was “evidence” of such irregularities.

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