Thailand elections: Big win for opposition, MFP's Pita Limjaroenrat looks forward to form govt

MFP needs backing of smaller parties to form a new administration

Thailand elections Move Forward Party leader and prime ministerial candidate, Pita Limjaroenrat, waves to the crowd during the general election in Bangkok, Thailand | Reuters

In a big win, Thailand's opposition won the elections pushing off nearly a decade of military-backed rule on Monday.

The progressive Move Forward Party (MFP) and populist Pheu Thai Party was projected to win 286 seats from the total 500. However, it is still unclear whether the opposition would be able to form the next government as the slated rules allow 250 members of a military-appointed Senate to vote the prime minister.

MFP, a youth-led party vouching to end the military rule, would require the support of the local parties to form a new administration.

Around 39.5 million voter turnout was recorded on Sunday.

According to the election commission website, MFP looked set to take the biggest share of the lower-house with a total of 147 seats. These include 112 from 400 seats that are directly elected and 35 from the 100 seats allocated to parties, reported Al Jazeera.

The pre-election surveys had predicted Pheu Thai to win the elections. Thai had a total of 138 seats-112 directly elected and 27 from the party-list.

Meanwhile, the United Thai Nation Party of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was trailing in fifth with just 36 seats. While, Palang Pracharath was at fourth with about 40 seats. Bhumjaitai, led by inclumbent health minister Anutin Charnvirakul, came third.

MFP swept the polls in the northern city of Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Phuket. The party won seven outr of 10 seats in Pattaya and Chiang Mai.

MFP party leader Pita Limjaroenrat, 42-year-old Harvard alumnus, thanked the voters for their support. "It is now clear that Move Forward has gained the immense trust of the people and of the country," he wrote in Twitter on Monday morning.

A procession is planned by the party to celebrate its victory at Bangkok's landmark Democracy Monument.

Any winning candidate would need 376 votes across the two houses to become prime minister. With Senate backing the military elitist, it seems to be a difficult task ahead for MFP.

In last elections in 2019, the Senate voted unanimously for Prayuth. Later a coalition was formed by the party that included 19 different parties.

However, the Election Commission is yet to announce the final number of seats won by each party. 


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