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Thaksin allies claim victory in Thai election, challenging army

Thaksin allies claim victory in Thai election, challenging army

Reeling off a litany of election irregularities, Thaksin said the military regime "clearly is afraid" and its proxy party Palang Pracharath (PPRP) would lead a "very unstable government" if it doesn't have a majority in the lower house of parliament.

Partial figures released late Monday showed the Thaksin-linked Pheu Thai party had earned 137 of the 350 available constituency seats so far, not enough to take on Prayut's Palang Pracharat party which so far has 97 seats but can rely on the senate.

Pheu Thai secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai said that the party was seeking collaboration with other pro-democracy parties and would discuss the PM candidate to find the best option for the country.

But the party faces an uphill battle because selection of the next prime minister will be decided by the 500-member lower house as well as a 250-member junta-appointed Senate.

In Bangkok Sudarat Keyuraphan, a Pheu Thai prime ministerial candidate said the party was eyeing a coalition but vowed "we will not join" any supporters of Prayut.

The Elections Commission delayed its announcement on the results from late on Sunday to Monday morning and then the afternoon, citing technical issues.

Pheu Thai, however, needs 376 lower house seats to command an overall majority - near impossible without complex tie-ups across pro-democracy factions.

The election is the latest chapter in a almost two-decade struggle between conservative forces including the military and the political machine of Thaksin, a tycoon who upended tradition-bound Thailand's politics with a populist political revolution.

Thais go out to vote.

"If you look at the number of ballots and the number of voter turnout, the ballots much more exceed the number of voter turnout in many, many provinces", he said.

"We've voiced our concerns before for vote-buying, abuse of power, and cheating".

A coordinator for Thailand-based election monitor We Watch said that voter education was "really insufficient" for the first election in eight years.




"In 2014, they took power with the barrel of a gun, by a coup", she said.

The main opposition party, Pheu Thai, won 7.2 million votes. Pheu Thai, the party of Yingluck and her brother Thaksin - who was also ousted by a coup in 2006 - are expected to poll well in the rural north.

"This is all knee-jerk reaction", said Maria Lapiz, head of institutional research at Maybank Kim Eng Securities Thailand, adding that Sino-Thai's balance sheets were already strong and would not be affected by the outcome of the election.

"I come to vote whenever there is an election", she said.

While a Prayuth-led government would continue the junta's economic policies, including a 1.7 trillion baht ($54 billion) infrastructure program, it also faces questions of legitimacy.

The anti-military party Future Forward won 30 constituency MP seats and the Democrat Party got 33.

The PNet spokesperson Chompunut Chalieobun told the Guardian that it was submitting an "urgent request" to meet the election commission to discuss its findings.

The overall victor of Sunday's election, the first since a 2014 coup, may not emerge for weeks because the Election Commission has said it will announce the official results of the final 150 seats in the 500-seat parliament on May 9.

"People are trapped in this illusion of peace and stability portrayed by the military", he told Al Jazeera.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn stopped the nomination, and a court later dissolved the party that proposed Ubolratana - dealing a major blow to the pro-Thaksin electoral machinery. The party is allied with exiled Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

In its 2pm press conference today (Mar 25), the Election Commission (EC) announced that although more than 90% of the votes in Sunday's general election had been counted, the wait would continue for the complete interim results.

He said such people didn't usually vote in Thailand.

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