Thailand: Military-backed party takes lead in elections

Thailand’s Election Commission  has shown that the military-backed Palang Pracharat Party has bagged 7 million votes in a preliminary series of results with about 90 percent ballots in a long-delayed polls in the country. The party which was linked to the former Prime Minister and an exiled tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra, Pheu Thai is behind by 6.6 million votes while the Future Forward which is a newly found party, whose campaign was based on promises of change and military reform finished third with 4.8 million votes.

The final declaration of the results will be made by Commission on Monday at 10 am (3:00 GMT). The elections are being conducted under a new Constitution which has given a huge influence to the military over the political affairs of the country. This makes it virtually impossible for any political party to bag a majority in the 500-member lower house. The military will appoint the upper house.

Prayuth Chan-ocha who had mastered the coup against the last elected government of the country five years ago, when he was the army general has high hopes of returning to power, this time as a civilian Prime Minister. For Prayuth to be the Prime Minister, he has to have a majority in both the houses and it is the 250-seat Senate which is an obvious advantage to him. Latter is seen as a clear case of cheating by the experts. The election turnout has been below expectations and has only been 65.96 percent as it was 87 percent in the early voting last week. 52 million had registered themselves to vote out of which 7 million were first time voters.

The fairness of the whole elections is debatable and they stand as the final nail in the coffin of the coup which was staged five years ago, an undemocratic constitution and a well-tailored plan to bring everything to the advantage of the military. The only good outcome of the whole election process is the rise of the newly formed Future Forward party which was able to bag a sound figure in the elections. They bring in hope for a bright future of the country.

Other prominent parties include the Democrats which is the oldest political party of Thailand and is under Abhisit Vejjajiva who is the current Prime Minister. He tendered his resignation on Sunday as the results started to pour in and pointed that his party had finished fifth with only 2.98 million votes.

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