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Cheating charges and confusion over Thai election

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 02:13s - Published < > Embed
Cheating charges and confusion over Thai election

Cheating charges and confusion over Thai election

Thailand's first general election since a military coup five years ago was thrown into disarray on Monday as two opposition parties alleged cheating and the election commission said it could be weeks until the make-up of parliament becomes clear.

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Cheating charges and confusion over Thai election

Elections in Thailand have been marred by allegations of cheating and general confusion over results.

Both sides say they will form a government - spoiling hopes of a clear cut result that could have ended 15 years of political turmoil.

Among the main contenders is Palang Pracharat - the pro-Junta party belonging to prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.

He headed up the military coup which seized power in the country five years ago.

As yet unofficial results show the party has gained a surprising 96 seats out of 350.

The opposition and pro-democracy party Pheu Thai, linked to self-exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, has around 137 seats - less than it was expecting.

Reuters' Panu Wongchaum is on the story.

SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS' PANU WONGCHAUM, SAYING: "We were seeing sort of the jockeying has already started where both sides, the two parties Palang Pracharat and Pheu Thai, essentially getting sort of numbers very close to each other but far from, you know, having more than half of the total seats.

So both are saying that they they want to be the core in forming a new government.

Essentially we're seeing this bigger picture we're a bunch of pro military parties will side with Pracharat and then you see a bunch of pro-democracy parties ... sided with Pheu Thai.

But the problem is that the numbers don't really add up.

And we could have a situation like a hung parliament." Poll irregularities have prompted accusations of rigged voting.

As of Monday, nearly 600,000 people had signed a petition to impeach the election body, and Pheu Thai said it was considering legal action.

Critics also say the new election system introduced by the Junta is fundamentally skewed in favour of the ruling military.

SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS' PANU WONGCHAUM, SAYING: "It's very difficult to say who can form the government but of course General Prayuth Chan-ocha and the junta has the ultimate advantage, essentially through the appointed Senate where the junta get to choose all of its 250 members in the Senate, and the Senate will be essential in the voting for whoever would become the next prime minister." The Electoral Commision said it could be weeks until the make-up of parliament becomes clear and the official result will be announced on May 9th.




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