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31 July


Election in Thailand: Pheu Thai or Palang Pracharat?

Palang Pracharat took the lead

Photo: Bloomberg

/NOVOSTIVL/ Thailand’s election commission late on Sunday said the pro-military party of junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha was headed towards a shock popular vote victory over its arch-rival, the populist Shinawatra political bloc, but did not release full results of the parliamentary seat count in the kingdom’s long-delayed polls. This article appeared in the South China Morning Post.

Local media complained of “unstable vote counts” from the commission, with the Khaosod English news portal reporting that in one instance, the difference in total votes between parties fluctuated by a million within minutes.

Prayuth’s Palang Pracharat Party and the Pheu Thai Party linked to exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra both held press conferences late in the evening.

Pheu Thai’s secretary general Phumtham Vechayachai said “irregularities” in the polls needed to be sorted out. In the Palang Pracharat camp, the mood was far more jubilant.

Its leader Uttama Savanayana did not declare victory but suggested the election outcome appeared to be “made in heaven” for his party. He said the party – founded just last year – was ready to form the next government if official results show it is the victor.

The election commission had earlier said with 92 per cent of votes counted, Palang Pracharat had gained some 7.5 million votes over Pheu Thai’s 7 million.