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Highest voter turnout in history as Thai people elect new MPs

PHOTO: AFP

The president of Thailand’s Election Commission says the country recorded the highest voter turnout in its history during Sunday’s general election. The people of Thailand broke all previous records, with over 75% of those registered to vote choosing to exercise that right. The result was a resounding defeat for the conservative, military-backed old guard, and a stunning endorsement for more progressive and liberal parties who have been in opposition.

EC president Ittiphon Boonprakong says that out of 52,238,594 Thai people who are registered to vote, a total of 39,293,867 turned out to do so. That’s 75.22% compared to 74.87% in 2019.

“The number of voters is the highest in the history of 7 general elections in the past. In 2019, the number of voters was an average of 74.87%. The high number of voters is a good sign that people are taking part in politics which has made this election meaningful.”

Ittiphon adds that there were also 168 official complaints filed during the election, which the commission is now investigating.

“However, in total, 168 complaints have been filed over the election. Of those, 59 complaints are regarding alleged vote buying, 58 complaints are for defamation, and 18 complaints were on government officers’ alleged illegal actions. The remainder of complaints were miscellaneous matters. Meanwhile, 7 people have been arrested for selling alcohol during the legal sales ban time of voting hours.”

The number of official complaints filed this year is significantly down on the 2019 figure, when 592 complaints were lodged.

“In 2019, there were 592 complaints in the election which was much more than this time. These numbers show that we have good developments in maintaining a fair and impartial election.”

Meanwhile, Pita Limjaroenrat, whose Move Forward Party has been unofficially declared the election winner, is already making coalition plans with runners-up, Pheu Thai, and a number of smaller parties.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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