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Thai Elections: The Provincial Political Party holds a leading position



  About 50 million voters headed to the Sunday elections in Thailand Image copyright
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More than 50 million people were allowed to vote in the Sunday

A pro-war political party in Thailand took unexpected lead in the country's first election since the army took power five years ago.

With over 90% of ballot papers, the Palan Pracha Rat Party won 7.6%. Pheu Thai is linked to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatara, whose loyalists have won all the 2001

elections

The announcement of the official results has been postponed to Monday

Now, however, it seems more likely that the warring party would be able to form a government under the current leader, General Powout Chan-O'chah, who heads the coup which took off Thaksin Yingluk Shinawa's sister in 2014

The preliminary result is unexpected as the Palang Pracha Rath (PPRP) party was originally predicted by many to come third.

  • Thailand's vote after the winner
  • The vote in Thailand's hybrid democracy

More than 50 million people were allowed to vote, but the turnout is reported to be only 64%, AFP reported. Thailand has been struck by political instability for years. After the seizure of power, the army pledged to restore order and democracy, but repeatedly postponed the vote

On the eve of the election, Thai King Maha Wajjarolongorn made a statement calling for "peace and order" during the voting process.

The statement, which was presented on national television on Saturday night, called for voters to "support the good people."

What is the background?

The elections are mainly seen as a competition between Mr Pavlik's pro-war parties and allies.

He was overthrown by a coup in 2006 and lived in self-imposed exile to avoid condemnation for abuse of power. But it still has a significant consequence, mostly among rural and less well-off voters.

Gen Prayuth was nominated as the only prime minister candidate for the newly formed PPRP. Among the other prominent parties are the Democrats led by former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and the new party of the future, led by a young telecom billionaire, Thanatorn Juangroongruangkit.

During the coup, the military said they wanted to restore order and stability and prevent street protests that have repeatedly erupted over the years.

But the junta is accused of making an authoritarian approach to power, strictly controlling the media, and arbitrarily using laws such as lese majeste – which prohibits any criticism of the military – to silence opponents.

Why could young voters be key in the elections in Thailand

It also introduced a constitution – approved by a referendum – which according to its critics is designed to ensure it remains at the center of Thai politics.

Sunday's vote would be to elect 500 members of the lower house of parliament. But according to the constitution, the army has appointed a 250-seat senate.

The two houses together will elect a prime minister – the candidate only needs half of the votes plus one to win.

So the preferred military candidate, General Pruit, will in theory only need 126 votes for lower posts to take office. The ruling party or coalition may also appoint a non-MP as prime minister.

The new constitution also imposes a limit on the number of seats each party can take, regardless of the number of votes won, and any future government is constitutionally bound to follow the 20-year military plan for Thailand

Preliminary unofficial results will appear within hours, but correspondents say it will take some time until Thailand's future direction becomes clear as countries negotiate deals and coalitions


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