Thailand’s chaotic election took another turn on Thursday when the Election Commission announced that the pro-Army party, which is seeking to keep the current junta leader in power, had won the popular vote, with 100% of ballots counted.
The announcement does not make clear the overall winner of Sunday’s general election, the first since a 2014 military coup.
Both the pro-Army Palang Pracharat and an anti-junta “democratic front” have claimed a mandate to form the next government, but it is unclear if either side will be able to gather enough votes in Parliament to form a workable government.
Palang Pracharat won the popular vote with 8.4 million ballots, the Election Commission said. The main Opposition Pheu Thai Party, whose elected government was toppled in the coup, got 7.9 million votes.
The results represented 100% of the ballots counted but would remain unofficial until final results are announced on May 9.
The Commission has not announced the full number of seats for each party in the 500-seat House of Representatives. Results for the lower house’s 350 directly elected ”constituent seats” showed Pheu Thai with 137 and the Palang Pracharat with 97.
The remaining 150 House of Representatives seats are allocated according to a complex formula involving the total number of votes for each party. On Wednesday, the Pheu Thai-led “democratic front” claimed to have a combined 255 seats based on partial results.