Election results are slowly rolling in in Thailand, accompanied by growing complaints of irregularities. According to the votes counted so far, the pro-military party is set to retain power.
Thomas Pepinsky, professor of government at Cornell University and an expert in South East Asian politics, says preliminary results suggest the outcome is unlikely to bring stability to the country’s politics.
“Elections in Thailand are proving to be just as contentious as most observed predicted. Although Pheu Thai, the party associated with former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, holds a lead in terms of number of parliamentary seats, the pro-military Palang Pracharat party is performing better than many observers expected.
“A strong showing from the latter, combined with the other particularities of Thailand's new constitution, should ensure that current junta Prayuth Chan-o-cha will be confirmed as the country's next prime minister.
“At the same time, reports of irregularities in vote tabulation as well as repeated and unexplained delays in announcing the official results from the Electoral Commission will likely undermine the credibility of the electoral results. Once again, Thailand's elections are unlikely to bring stability to the country's politics.”