Thailand's junta 'manipulated' election, says ousted PM Thaksin

Election results show unexpected popular vote lead for pro-military party

Reuters March 25, 2019
Former Thai prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra (C), addresses his supporters during a ceremony in Siem Reap province, Cambodia, April 14, 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

BANGKOK: Thailand’s ousted former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, said on Monday that the ruling military junta “manipulated” the results of an election after a party of his loyalists did worse than expected.

Partial results of Sunday’s election, the first since a military coup in 2014, showed an unexpected popular vote lead for a pro-military party that wants to keep junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister.

Thais vote in first general election since 2014 coup

“I knew that the junta running Thailand wanted to stay in power, but I cannot believe how far it has gone to manipulate the general election on Sunday,” Thaksin wrote in the opinion piece in the New York Times.

Reuters could not immediately reach a government spokesman to seek comment.

A pro-Thaksin party on Monday also alleged cheating and said it was considering a legal challenge to the polls.

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