Thailand’s election vote count is in progress, the incumbent is expected to fall. PHOTO/Reuters
BANGKOK – Vote counting is in progress Thai general election on Sunday (14/5/2023). Pro-democracy opposition parties are expected to defeat Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s conservative, military-backed government after nearly a decade in power.
As AFP reports, opinion polls show a crushing defeat for former army chief and coup leader Prayut after a campaign that played out as a clash between a younger generation yearning for change and the traditionalist, royalist establishment.
The main opposition Pheu Thai party, fronted by the daughter of billionaire former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, led in the final opinion polls.
But in a kingdom where ballot box victories have often been eclipsed by coups and court orders, there are fears the military could linger, raising the prospect of renewed instability.
Polling stations closed at 1700 local time, after an uneventful voting day, without any major problems being reported by Thai media.
Preliminary results are expected later this evening, although the final number of seats won by each party will not be officially confirmed for several weeks.
After voting in Bangkok, the main candidate Pheu Thai Paetongtarn Shinawatra showed no signs of nervousness. “Today is going to be a good day. I have very positive energy about it,” the 36-year-old told reporters, smiling broadly.
Millions of Thais cast ballots in 95,000 polling stations scattered from the densely forested mountains in the north to the beautiful sands of the south coast.