BANGKOK – Early unofficial talents from a long awaited choice in Thailand showed pro-democratic forces gridlocked with a party trying to anchor the military in politics, a surprise result that could hold the junta head Prayuth Chan-ocha in force.
With 92 percent of the vote, the military-bound party, formed as a vehicle to keep junta in force, counted a slightly larger share of votes than Pheu Thai, the populist party linked to exterminated billionaire Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The new Future Forward Party, led by a 40-year-old liberal and athletic billionaire who has been unambiguous about his desire to end military control, was in third place.
The results indicate that old departments in Thailand are solved to create space for new ones. A fundamental question of whether civilian elected politicians are best placed to lead the country over the army, along with a condemned monarch. It also raises protests and the ghost of instability, with supporters of a pro-democratic populist movement likely to cry.
The election will determine the taste of Thailand's parliament, which has 500 elective seats. The elected legislators and 250 oval senators, appointed by the junta, decide who will become prime minister. It is unclear how the rat numbers for votes will be transformed into places under a complicated new system of legislators chosen by constituencies and proportional representation.
The Prime Minister is elected by a simple majority.
When polls were opened Sunday morning in Thailand, a hashtag trend on social media began: #OldEnoughtoVoteOurselves.
Throughout the day, Thailand's millennia were among the most enthusiastic voters who rushed to reject the military junta's dominance. They argued with older relatives, shared political videos on social media, and subtly challenged Thailand's social contracts, where the monarch's words are absolute, with hashtags.
"We want to see new things from new people, rather than the same old politician talking about the same things," said a 32-year-old who just wanted to be named by her nickname Kob, for fear of the repercussions of her government-linked employer. "We want a prime minister who comes from a choice, not a coup."
Of the 52 million elective constituencies in Thailand – nearly 70 percent of them came to cast whales on Sunday in the first election since a 2014 coup – about 7 million are young, first-time voters. The leader of the Future Forward Party, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, has been quoted with energy-saving youths who grew up under military rule, creating a dedicated fan club that bullies the fresh billionaire and the clips for selfies.
The Washington Post interviewed more than a dozen voters under the age of 35 and most said they chose the Thanathorn Party, while their parents and grandparents voted for the Army Party.
Generational split reflects trends all over the world, including in the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom, where young people have encountered liberal causes while their elders have been conservatively inclined.
The hashtag seemed to be an answer to an unusual statement by Thai King Vajiralongkorn before the vote, where he encouraged voters to choose "good people" as their leaders and quit "bad people" from gaining power and causing concern.
Some voters speak on the condition of partial anonymity because criticism of the Thai monarchy is a crime punished by imprisonment, rejected the paternalist undertones of the message, and said they wanted to make their own choices. Others have explicitly refused to take political clues from their elders.
"[In the past] some of us would vote for the one our parents said is good," says Noon, a 29-year-old social activist. "But nowadays we can access social media, so we can make our own decision. Because social media is a big factor here, we can understand more about the real problems in Thailand [and] matching it with politicians' policies. Thailand's last vote was held eight years ago, when Facebook, Instagram and Twitter became widespread, and Thailand had 46 million Facebook users in 2017.
But before the election, the game rules were substantially changed from previous polls, generally as a way to give junta every election benefit and prevent domination of parties associated with eradicated billionaire Thaksin.
Many voters confessed that they found the new routines, where voters could only choose a candidate who represented a party – previously it was possible To cast two votes, one for a single candidate and one for a party – confusing, some were also surprised at how best to vote strategically for insurance forces to consider the benefits of the military and form a government.
"I had to study all the new rules and think a lot about this, "said Sakda Pohka, 43, who torn between the candidate al and a party he has long been loyal to. "It was confusing to me when I made the decision."
Every district has at least two dozen candidates running, many of them smaller proxy stalwarts who have dominated Thai politics for decades – but still an overwhelming choice for some voters. An 18-year-old who cast his vote for the first time was so stressed about making the wrong decision that she chose to vote for no one.
The changes have seemed to have their intended effect, along with talks from the Army Party which can only deliver peace and stability. Analysts have expressed apprehension at the early results showing the army-related party in front of Pheu Thai, who has won every election since 2001.
Thaksin, the founder of the movement, lives in self-imposed exile, flies out a series of corruption charges he says are politically motivated.
Many voters on the outskirts of the city, away from the giant shopping malls and signs that advertised luxury apartments, said they would vote for Pheu Thai because it is the only party that can address the issue of Thailand's growing inequality. According to a global survey by the financial sector Credit Suisse, Thailand is the most incomparable country in the world, with only 1 percent controlling 66.9 percent of the state. This difference has worsened in recent years.
"The rich are not serious about this choice. They were not affected by the economic slowdown in recent years," said Hemarath Sawadeepol, 28. "But for the grass roots like us, this choice is important because we need the changes."
He runs three business in a wholesale mall in Bangkok, where he earns only $ 63 a day, shared among relatives.
The military-adjusted party will need fewer places than the pro-democracy parties to choose the country's prime minister, as it will be supported by 250 non-selected senators – one-third of the legislature – hand-picked by the military government. 19659028] As early as the result was streamed by television networks on Facebook Live, dozens of commenters began raging. "Hopeless, our country is hopeless," one user said. only responded with a string of crying facial moji.At nightfall, a new trending Twitter hashtag occurred: #PrayForThailand.
Panaporn Wutwanic h in Bangkok contributed to this report.