Sunday 21 April 2019

Pro-army party leads Thai poll

Reporters wait for the general election results in Bangkok, Thailand. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Reporters wait for the general election results in Bangkok, Thailand. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Nicola Smith in Bangkok

Thailand's military-backed political party was last night heading for a surprise win over its populist rival that has led a "democratic front" in the first election since a 2014 coup.

Early results, announced by the country's election commission after 89pc of votes had been counted, put Phalang Pracharat, led by military junta chief Prayuth Chan-o-cha, ahead with seven million votes. The opposition Pheu Thai party had 6.6 million.

However, in a late twist, Ittiporn Boonprakong, the commission's chairman, said the full unofficial results would be declared only this morning, without giving any reason.

Polling day saw a high turnout among Thailand's 51.2 million voters, many of whom were determined to cast their ballots after five years under military rule.

Irish Independent

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