Monday, June 17, 2024

Thailand election: Youth-led opposition defeats military parties

Pita Limjaroenrat/Twitter

Thailand‘s youth-led Move Forward Party (MFP) has won the most seats and the largest share of the popular vote in a general election defeating the conservative parties allied with the military at the heart of government for nearly a decade.

With nearly all votes counted on Monday, MFP and the populist Pheu Thai Party are projected to win about 286 seats in the 500-member House of Representatives.

MFP said they had invited Pheu Thai, the party associated with the exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and four other opposition parties to form an alliance.

MFP is a progressive youth-led party that contested the general elections for the first time with a bid to reform the monarchy and reduce the power of the military by rewriting the country’s constitution, including amending Thailand’s strict lese-majeste laws.

With 99% of votes counted, the MFP looked set to take the biggest share of the lower house with a total of 147 seats, preliminary results published on the election commission website showed. The results would need to be confirmed before they could be pronounced as official, which would happen within 60 days.

A future prime minister will be voted on not just by the 500-seat House of Representatives, whose membership will be dictated by the election results, but also by the senate, whose 250 members were appointed by the military after the last coup.

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