Thailand’s junta-linked party in the lead after almost all ballots counted

Polls open in Thailand for the first election since 2014 coup

Thais began the nail-biting wait late Sunday to see whether the ruling junta will return to power as a civilian government, or if pro-democracy parties can triumph against the odds, as polls closed in the country's first general election since a 2014 coup.

With more than 90% of ballots counted, the Palang Pracha Rath Party has gained 7.6 million votes - half a million more than opposition Pheu Thai (For Thais).

The popular vote does not, however, reflect the number of parliamentary seats that would ultimately be won.

Sudarat Keyuraphan, leader of the main pro-Thaksin party, Pheu Thai, said her party would fight to overcome the constitutional barriers Prayuth's regime had set up. But it may take weeks to certify the tally, form the expected coalition government and pick a premier.

Critics say the charter gives appointed soldiers and bureaucrats in a planned 250-strong Senate the power to stifle elected politicians in the 500-seat lower house.

The new Future Forward Party, led by a 40-year-old liberal and athletic billionaire who has been unequivocal about his desire to end military rule, was in third place.

The leader of the Pheu Thai political party that was ousted as Thailand's government in a 2014 military coup says she's confident of winning Sunday's election.

The Election Commission chairman said 95 per cent of the results of Sunday's general election will be announced on Monday at 10 am (0300 GMT).

The military junta looked likely to remain in power and retain a decisive role in politics. "Social mobilization, political participation, people want change", said Paul Chambers, lecturer and special advisor on global affairs at Naresuan University, Phitsanulok.

"Even the reported numbers from the Election Commission and each media outlet are different".

Even if Pheu Thai party emerged the biggest victor in yesterday's general election, it remains a question whether it can form the next government.

Parkland shooting survivor kills herself because of 'survivor's guilt,' parents say
On Saturday, police told the Huffington Post that another survivor had died by an "apparent suicide ". Aiello was a young woman who a Marjory Stoneman Douglas teacher described as a joy to have in class.

Video Ads Behind Banner Images Scam Exposed
Aniview has denied any wrongdoing and said it was fighting against bad activities and usage of the platform. There have been numerous examples of ads engaging in fraud and even distributing malware.

FAA to look at Boeing's fixes for 737 Max jets next week
The software and training fixes were announced by Boeing on March 11 after the FAA called for them in an official airworthiness directive.

Thailand has been under direct military rule for almost five years since then-army chief Prayuth overthrew an elected government linked to exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who himself was thrown out by the army in 2006. His sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, who led the Pheu Thai government that was ousted in 2014, also fled the country after what supporters said was a politically motivated prosecution.

About 51.4 million people from Thailand's population of 69 million were able to vote at more than 93,200 polling stations in 77 provinces.

As such, the two parties would be more or less level with each other in terms of both constituency and party-list MPs.

Of the 52 million eligible voters in Thailand - nearly 70 per cent of whom turned up to cast ballots in the first election since a 2014 coup - about seven million are young, first-time voters. Leaders of political parties opposed to military rule urged a high turnout as the only way to derail Prayuth's plans, but at 66 per cent, turnout fell short of their hopes. It was also broadcast on Thai television stations minutes before voting started.

The weekend elections saw a last-minute Saturday admonition from the nation's king, Maha Vajiralongkorn, who warned that voters must follow "good" leaders as a means of preventing "chaos".

The statement added: "It is his desire that all people and all civil servants, military and police who are oversee the country's security and well-being of the people, abide by this royal order".

It was the monarch's second notable intervention in politics recently.

Another royal command in February torpedoed the candidacy of the king's elder sister Princess Ubolratana for prime minister of a party linked to Thaksin.

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

After the coup, political party gatherings were banned and pro-democracy activists and other dissenters were regularly arrested, interrogated and imprisoned.

Political observers noted that the Democrat Party disappointed hugely after it won only 29 constituency seats as of press time and lost all its seats in Bangkok to the PPRP and FFP.

Related News:

  • Ex-President George W. Bush gets ace at Dallas course

    Ex-President George W. Bush gets ace at Dallas course

    What's the next goal for the former president? "Congratulations President Bush! I would love to have that on my resume!" wrote one user.
    Tiffany Holiday Sales Miss, Shares to Fall

    Tiffany Holiday Sales Miss, Shares to Fall

    The firm also sells timepieces, leather goods, sterling silverware, china, crystal, stationery, fragrances, and accessories. Finally, Moody National Bank Trust Division boosted its position in shares of Tiffany & Co.by 938.0% in the 4th quarter.
    Bucks bounce back in 116-87 win over the Heat

    Bucks bounce back in 116-87 win over the Heat

    Wade finished with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting, three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. Down 20 points at the half, Milwaukee outscored the Heat 71-36 in the second and won by 15 points.
  • Dora and the Lost City of Gold - Official Trailer - Paramount Pictures

    Dora and the Lost City of Gold - Official Trailer - Paramount Pictures

    The film is produced by Kristin Burr, who is joined by executive producer John G. Scotti as well as executive producers Julia Pistor and Eugenio Derbez .
    Jimmer Fredette signs 2-year deal with Phoenix Suns

    Jimmer Fredette signs 2-year deal with Phoenix Suns

    New Orleans Pelicans guard Jimmer Fredette (32) in action against the Atlanta Hawks in the third quarter at Philips Arena. The 30-year-old is now averaging 36 points , 5.6 rebounds, and 5.3 assists for the Shanghai Sharks .
    Scott Hend wins Maybank Championship in playoff

    Scott Hend wins Maybank Championship in playoff

    I gave myself a lot of chances but I couldn't seem to get the ball in the hole". "I'm very happy with a 66". Hend, who carded back-to-back rounds of 67 over the weekend, said: "What a putt by Nacho, unbelievable".
  • South American countries make forum for stronger ties

    South American countries make forum for stronger ties

    However, Unasur fell apart following Chavez' death and the escalating crisis in Venezuela , with the bloc failing to take action. The previous group, called Unasur, was started in 2008 when numerous founding nations were led by leftist governments.
    Harbhajan, Tahir spins CSK to victory over RCB in IPL 2019 opener

    Harbhajan, Tahir spins CSK to victory over RCB in IPL 2019 opener

    Speaking about the attacking prowess of the batsmen in his team , MS Dhoni said that the Chennai pitch doesn't suit the CSK players at all.
    China, US to hold new rounds of trade talks

    China, US to hold new rounds of trade talks

    Trump has on many occasions said the trade imbalance between the us and China is a sign that America is being "ripped off". If you're going to sell them to the Americans, make them here", the President argued. "We're straightening it out".
  • Deja vu: No. 2 Michigan KOs Montana in first round

    Deja vu: No. 2 Michigan KOs Montana in first round

    It would also be for the third year in a row, something UM hasn't done since the days of the Fab Five. The Grizzlies scored the game's first 10 points before giving way and losing 61-47.
    [H]ardOCP: PlayStation Introduces State of Play Broadcast

    [H]ardOCP: PlayStation Introduces State of Play Broadcast

    Sony seems to have styled this livestream similarly to the " Nintendo Direct " from the Nintendo Switch developers. It will be livestreamed across YouTube , Twitter , Facebook and Twitch on March 25 at 5 p.m.
    Jaguar finally wins Chinese lawsuit over Evoque knockoff

    Jaguar finally wins Chinese lawsuit over Evoque knockoff

    The automaker's global head of legal, Keith Benjamin, said the decision upholds consumer rights to ensure they are not misled. From the Mitsubishi Pajero to the Toyota Innova, the list of cars copied by Chinese automakers is a long one.


Most liked

Reliance denies sidestepping U.S. sanctions
In October past year , it said that it had stopped all crude purchases from Iran ahead of the sanctions. Reliance will continue its transactions in full compliance of prevailing sanctions, it added.

Amid crisis, Jet Airways pilots hop on to other carriers
Flights which have been suspended from Mumbai include services to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dammam, and Hong Kong. Grappling with financial woes, the carrier has been looking at ways to raise fresh funds.

Former Minnesota Vikings safety George Iloka joining the Cowboys
Based on his Twitter feed, the 28-year-old, who turns 29 on March 31, sounds pretty happy with his decision to sign in Dallas. Clayton Geathers chose to resign with the Indianapolis Colts on a one-year deal and Eric Berry is still a free agent.

Virginia shakes Gardner-Webb, 2018 memories
The Cavaliers were blown out by UMBC in 2018, and coach Tony Bennett's team got off to a awful start against Gardner-Webb. The Cavaliers entered the tournament as a No. 1 seed for the second straight season.

Netflix Testing $3 Mobile-Only Plan in Select Countries
It was also revealed that Apple will have a large catalogue of movies and TV shows ready for its new streaming service at launch. Apple will collect the monthly fee, divide the developers' cut based on how often their games were played, and keep the rest.

County unemployment dips to 3.5 percent in February
It shows South Korea's employment rate edged down to 60-point-seven percent last year, from 60-point-eight a year prior. Since February of 2018, the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped six-tenths of a percentage point.

More than 130 killed in Mali massacre as United Nations visits
Clashes between the Dogon and the Fulani over access to land and water have become more frequent over the last few months. Further, on 1 January, 37 people were executed in the Fulani village of Kulogon by unidentified armed elements.

Colorado Rockies trade Mike Tauchman to New York Yankees
The Yankees acquired Tauchman in exchange for lefty reliever Phil Diehl on Saturday, the day before spring training ended. To make room for Tauchman on the 40-man roster, starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery was put on the 60-day injured list.

Dr. Dre brags daughter got into USC 'all on her own'
Dre (aka Andre Young) said on Instagram his daughter has won admission to the University of Southern California "all on her own". He and Beats Electronics co-founder Jimmy Iovine donated a whopping $ 70 million to the prestigious school in 2013.

Look up: Northern lights to dip into the Midwest
The Met Office's Space account tweeted: "CME forecast to arrive late 23rd March following C5 flare from sunspot AR2736". Active-minor geomagnetic storm periods possible with low risk of moderate storms.

Treasury Yields 'Invert' in Possible Recession Sign
The Dow fell 460 points Friday as a leading indicator of a U.S. recession and concern about a global slowdown spooked investors. It is a plot of the yields on all Treasury maturities ranging from 1-month bills to 30-year bonds.

More than US$7.4 milllion donated to help families in NZ shooting
Muslims account for just over 1% of New Zealand's 4.8-million population, a 2013 census showed, most of whom were born overseas. People take part in the " March for Love " at North Hagley Park after the mosque attacks in Christchurch , March 23, 2019.

David Warner scores 85 on IPL return for Sunrisers Hyderabad
Earlier in the day, Dinesh Karthik won the toss and elected to field first but it did not according to plan for the KKR captain. Catch all the live score and updates from the second match of IPL 2019 between KKR and SRH through cricketnext's live blog.

US issues new Iran-related sanctions on 14 individuals, 17 entities
The U.S. sanctions aim to force Iran to accept tougher restrictions on its nuclear work and drop its ballistic missile programme. Iran says its missile programme is purely defensive and has rejected the curbs on it demanded by the U.S.

Flat Earthers plan 'big, bold' cruise to ‘edge of the world’
Global position systems use a network of satellites that orbit the Earth to ping off each other to pinpoint a location. "Flat Earthers" are planning to go on a freakish journey to Antarctica to prove that Earth is not a spherical planet.