BANGKOK – Thailand’s Election Commission announced on Monday unofficial results of the general election and confirmed that the opposition Puea Thai Party led the lower house seat count.
Out of 350 seats in the preliminary tally, the anti-junta Puea Thai led with 137, followed by the pro-military Phalang Pracharat Party (97), the Bhumjaithai Party (39), the Democrat Party (33) and the emerging Anakot Mai (“Future Forward”) party (30), the EC said on its website.
These seats are distributed according to constituencies, while another 150 seats have yet to be announced as they will be decided based on a complex party-list system.
Earlier Monday, the Puea Thai Party, which was overthrown from power in a coup in 2014, announced it had won the election and would seek to form a coalition government with other opposition parties.
Puea Thai’s prime ministerial candidate Sudarat Keyuraphan claimed her party obtained a majority in Sunday’s elections.
Sudarat said the party, linked to the Shinawatra family and which has won all elections in the country since 2001, has the confidence of the people and it would seek out allies against the current prime minister and leader of the pro-military Phalang Pracharat party, Prayut Chan-ocha.
Sudarat criticized the electoral body and a lack of transparency during the voting process and claimed that it had generated distrust among the international community as well as the Thai people.
The Puea Thai Party said it was gathering information about possible irregularities that occurred during the election and that it would act in accordance with the law.
The Phalang Pracharat party said it was ready to form a government based on winning the majority of votes (rather than seats).
In an earlier afternoon press conference, the EC said it would announce the official results no later than May 9.
The EC did not clarify the irregular vote counts witnessed during the polling.
Late advance ballots from New Zealand had arrived on Sunday night at 10 pm, but it is still to be decided if those votes would be counted.
“The embassy did not delay their ballots delivery… The bag will be delivered to the electoral commission and the commission will consider whether these votes will be counted or not. We will know the result by tomorrow,” said the EC’s deputy secretary-general, Nut Laosisawakul.
During its rule, the military junta drafted a new constitution, approved under the promise of providing stability to the country and preventing a potential stalemate in parliament, but which also gives the military establishment powers to nominate all 250 members of the senate (the upper house) for a five-year term.
Thailand saw a voter turnout of slightly over 65 percent, according to the EC.