As the pro-junta party leads in Thailand’s Elections, the results have been delayed until Monday afternoon, the Election Commission informed Sunday. This marks the first General Elections since the 2014 Thai coup d'état installed coup leader General Prayut Chan-o-cha as prime minister and a military junta in power.
Junta Limits Expression as Elections Approach in Thailand
With 93 percent of overall votes counted, the Election Commission reported Palang Pracharat, the military-backed party, was leading Sunday’s electoral process with 7.64 million votes - almost half a million more than opposition Pheu Thai (For Thais), linked to the self-exiled ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
More than 50 million people were eligible to vote, but turnout was reportedly just 64%, AFP news agency reported. However, this was a much-expected process as elections had been postponed on three prior occasions.
Future Forward, a newly founded party that campaigned on a promise of change and military reform, was third with nearly 4.8 million votes.
“We are pleased,” Palang Pracharat leader Uttama Savanayana said, adding that “as for discussion with other parties about forming the next government, we haven’t got to that stage yet.”
In 2017, the junta drafted a new Constitution in which gave the military considerable influence and an upper hand over the country's politics. The bicameral Parliament is divided in a 250-seat Senate which is appointed by the army, and a 500-seat House of Representatives left for democratic elections.
With the secured 250-seats from the Upper House, the military junta will likely have the majority in Parliament to reappoint current coup leader as prime minister, since the process states majorities across both houses will elect their premier.