Voters in Thailand to early vote one week before elections

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thousands of Thais lined up in long lines on Sunday to vote early in parliamentary elections scheduled for May 14.

According to Thailand’s Electoral Commission, more than 2 million of the 52 million eligible voters over the age of 18 have registered for early voting.

“I hope to see changes and improvements in management,” said 51-year-old Gosol Pungtaku, one of 800,000 Bangkok residents who have registered for early voting in Bangkok for only one day. .

Another voter, 34-year-old Siriporn Namphet, said he voted for change.

“It’s like looking at what the previous administration has been doing and hoping that the new administration will take over and govern more effectively,” she told Reuters.

The election could overturn the status quo, which has been in place for more than eight years by a conservative pro-military government led by former Army Secretary Prayut Chan-ocha.

Prayuth, 69, who first seized power in a 2014 coup and remained prime minister after the 2019 elections, said critics said he was rigged to support the junta’s leadership. The government has denied this, but recent polls show it lags far behind the opposition.

The opposition Kingdom of Thailand Party, a populist group that won five general elections before 2019 and was ousted in Prayuth in a coup, leads in most polls, followed by the Progressive Forward Party. increase.

Elections are held in the 500-seat House of Representatives.

Reported by Napat Wesshasartar and Artorn Pookasook, written by Panu Wongcha-um. Edited by Raju Gopalakrishnan

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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