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Marianne Björklund: the Military looks to be able to retain power in Thailand

According to the electoral commission, quoted by Reuters, the junta's own party, the Palang Pracharat, scooped the most votes in the election. With 89 percent of votes counted, announces the election commission, 7 million of the more than 50 million eligible voters, the thais have voted on the Palang Pracharat. The second most votes has the Pheu Thai, a party linked to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Pheu Thai received according to the poll, 6.6 million of the votes. The new Framtidspartiet, popular among young voters, had on this account for 4.8 million of the votes and was thus the third largest party. The outcome is not clear how many of the constituencies that are counted.

To Palang Pracharat would get the most votes is a surprise, and paves the way for the military and its leader Prayuth Chan-ocha to remain in power. The military, which came to power in a coup in 2014, already had an advantage in the election after the writing of the constitution. The new constitution also gives the military the right to itself to appoint all 250 seats in the house of lords. The choice concerns thus only the 500 seats in the house of commons. This makes it sufficient for the military to win 126 seats to retain power, while the opposition needs to win 376 places.

the main issue has been just if the thais want to keep the military in power or not. During his time as leader of the country has the junta made life more difficult for the dissidents, censored the media and restricted freedom of expression. At the same time, there are thais who believe that the military stands for order and stability in the country, which is strongly polarized and has been characterized by violent clashes between different groups over the last decades.

The vast majority answering no to the question. They point, inter alia, on the new constitution which is already in advance gave the military an edge. Moreover, the military has introduced harsh rules against those who criticize its government, which both the media and those who are active in social media has got to feel. The week before the election was opposition leader, the visit of the military officers who ransacked their home. A party, Thai Raksa Chart, were dissolved in addition, prior to the election and its highest representative is now forbidden to engage politically in Thailand for the next ten years. Also Thai Raksa Chart is linked to Thaksin Shinawatra, the military's biggest opponents and the enemy.

It is expected to take some time before it is clear how Thailand is governed in the future. The official election results are expected first of may 9. Sunday's elections went calmly. But some concerns that the new protests to break out on Thailand's streets. After Sunday's results started to clear the synthesis of several angry reactions if the elections are rigged.

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