Over 2 million Thais head to polls to vote early, one week ahead of election

Bangkok, May 7 (EFE).- More than two million Thais were called to the polls on Sunday to vote early, one week ahead of the legislative elections on May 14.

According to the Election Commission, 2.3 million Thais registered to cast their ballots a week early, before the rest of the 52 million eligible voters.

The elections seem destined to be a duel between two opposition forces: Pheu Thai, led by Paethongtarn Shinawatra (daughter of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, now living in exile) and the reformist Move Forward party, headed by Pita Limjaroenrat, which according to the latest surveys is gaining in popularity.

In third place, far behind the two opposition groups, is the new conservative force United Thai Nation, headed by the current prime minister, General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

Prayut was head of the army when he seized power in a bloodless coup in May 2014 after months of anti-government demonstrations that had prevented an election from being held that year.

An authoritarian and ultra-monarchical figure, the general silenced any dissenting voices at the head of the military junta and delayed holding elections several times.

In 2019, he was appointed leader of the civilian government after the elections, which international observers described as lacking in transparency.

The vote next Sunday will elect about 500 members of Parliament, although the election of the Executive will also involve 250 members of the Senate who are handpicked by the former military junta and who have a mandate until 2024. EFE


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