Thailand’s reformist opposition has won the most seats and the largest share of the popular vote in a general election after voters resoundingly rejected the military-backed parties that have ruled the Southeast Asian country for nearly a decade.
With nearly all votes counted on Monday, the progressive Move Forward Party (MFP) and the populist Pheu Thai Party were projected to win about 286 seats in the 500-member House of Representatives.
But uncertainty remains about whether they would be able to form the next government due to skewed parliamentary rules that allow 250 members of a military-appointed Senate to vote on the prime minister.
That means MFP and Pheu Thai will need the support of smaller parties to establish a new administration.
The biggest winner of Sunday’s vote was MFP, a progressive youth-led party that contested the general elections for the first time on a bold platform of reforming the monarchy and reducing the power of the military by rewriting the country’s constitution and ending conscription.
With 99 percent of votes counted, the MFP looked set to take the biggest share of the lower house with a total of 147 seats, preliminary results published on the election commission website showed. The figure includes 112 from the 400 seats that are directly elected and 35 from the 100 seats allocated to parties on a proportional basis.