Thai politics

Thailand election: liveblogging the results

Note: I’ll use this post for updates as the vote count comes in…

Final update: 11:00 p.m.:

I’m wrapping things up for the evening. Before I go, here a few thoughts to ponder:

The results of the election are clear. According to Thailand’s Election Commission, as reported by AP, Pheu Thai will likely end up with approximately 260 seats in Parliament, enough to ensure a majority and form a government.

What now?

There has been much discussion, in the past, about whether or not the army would accept another Thaksin friendly government.

Thai political pundits, in discussions on TV tonight, have referred to amnesty for Thaksin as a non-starter.

There’s no telling what could happen, they’ve said, if the exiled billionaire returns to Thailand.

But would Pheu Thai really push for amnesty?

We shall see what the weeks ahead hold in store.

In the meantime, here are a few news stories to chew on:

The WSJ notes that Abhisit has conceded, and raises some questions about the future:

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva Sunday admitted defeat in Thailand’s national election, and said his Democrat Party would cooperate with the new government to be formed by the For Thais Party, which is headed by the sister of exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

Reuters says:

After six prime ministers in six years of sometimes bloody political upheaval, Thais might be excused for shrugging their shoulders about voting in number seven.

But this time there’s one big difference. The new prime minister will be a woman, the first to hold the position in Thailand.

The FT provides some analysis on Yingluck:

Yingluck Shinawatra, who is poised to become Thailand’s first female prime minister, is a former businesswoman and political neophyte who has struggled to escape the long shadow of her brother.

That’s it for now. Good night.

Update: 9:05 p.m.

Al Jazeera English’s Wayne Hay tweets:

2011 07 03 tweet

Previous post with more info on rumors about a “grand bargain” is here.

Update: 8:10 p.m.

I just tweeted the following:

Yingluck takes question in English. Says will focus first on economic issues. Wais to crowd, says thanks, and is off.

Yingluck presser on TV.

Yingluck: hopes other parties, like Chart Thai, will join in a coalition. EC has 30 days to certify results & could be red cards.

But Yingluck says wants to wait for official results. This is not PT victory but victory for country. Will focus on reconciliation.

Yingluck on TV: thanks for support, both domestic and overseas. Thanks to other parties for peaceful election…

If election result stands, how will biz community feel about PT’s pledge to raise minimum wage 40 percent?

ASEAN TV: Phue Thai at 255. Dems at 162. PT would have majority.

On TV, Abhisit: Dems will be opposition party. Concedes defeat and says he hopes Yingluck will be Thailand’s first female PM.

Update: 7:40 p.m. Bangkok time:

Journalists are awaiting a speech by Yingluck. ABC Australia’s Zoe Daniel (@seacorro) tweets this photo:

2011 07 03 yingluck presser

Image: Zoe Daniel.

7:30 p.m. Bangkok time:

It looks like the Pheu Thai will still form a majority, but it may not be a “landslide.”

The Nation says:

After the vote count has been done by 48 per cent, the Pheu Thai Party appeared to win 255 MPs.

The Democrat came second with wining 164 MPs according to the count by the Royal Thai Police and EC as of 6:13 pm.

Bangkok Pundit, where you can also find frequent updates, quotes Kom Chad Luek as saying here’s how the numbers currently stand:

Pheu Thai have 254 seats, while the Democrats are at 164.

Stay tuned…

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