Thai polls panel confirms opposition win in May 14 elections


Workers count votes as the polling stations close on the day of the general elections in Bangkok on May 14, 2023. - Reuters

BANGKOK (Bloomberg): Thailand’s pro-democracy parties won a majority of the seats in the May 14 general election, according to official results published by the nation’s poll agency on Thursday (May 25).

The progressive Move Forward Party won 151 seats to emerge as the single-largest party in the 500-member House of Representatives, followed by Pheu Thai at 141 seats, the Election Commission said in a statement. The official results confirm the preliminary tally released on the night of the election.

Bhumjaithai, which has championed the liberalisation of cannabis, came third with 71 seats, while Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha’s United Thai Nation bagged 36 seats. Military-aligned Palang Pracharath secured 40 seats and the nation’s oldest political party Democrat won 25 seats.

The commission has until July 13 to certify the official results that can pave the way for the first meeting of the house and selection of prime minister.

A coalition of pro-democracy parties led by the Move Forward has staked claim to form the next government with Pita Limjaroenrat as its prime ministerial nominee. The bloc is backed by 312 lawmakers from the lower house and about 19 senators from the upper house.

Pita is still short of the support of 376 lawmakers needed to become prime minister in a joint voting of the the lower and upper house that’s stacked with allies of the military establishment.

The election saw a record turnout of 75.7% from the more than 52 million eligible voters, commission data showed.

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