Thailand headed to the polls on Sunday to vote in the first election since the military ousted the elected government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in a coup in 2014. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army chief who led the coup, is hoping to extend his reign after crafting a new political system that aims to suppress the influence of big political parties not aligned with the military. About 51.4 million people from Thailand’s population of 69 million were able to vote at more than 93,200 polling stations in 77 provinces. After the elections, a rubber-stamp Senate will choose the prime minister alongside the lower house. Read more: A moment of shock for Thailand’s military It is the first time in the country’s history that parties have had to identify a prime ministerial candidate ahead of an election. While there is a high chance Prayuth Chan-ocha will be successful, opinion polls show the junta’s popularity has suffered over the years due to repeated election delays, the suppression of free speech and corruption allegations. Thais are voting for the first time since a military coup in 2014 ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ‘A military-staged and managed spectacle’ For almost two decades Thailand has been caught between… Read full this story
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