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Thailand elections: Early voters flock to poll stations

Thailand elections: Early voters flock to poll stations
Buddhist-majority country is set for general elections on March 24, first time since 2014 army coup

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA (AA) - In Thailand, part of the country's registered voters took to the ballot boxes Sunday, forming long queues in the early voting ahead of next week's general elections.

Thailand's constitution allows people who are staying out of their registered addresses/original constituencies to vote in advance of the scheduled date of elections.

According to The Bangkok Post, at least 75% of such voters turned out at polling stations across the country while in the capital Bangkok, the figure reached over 87 percent.

The Buddhist-majority military-ruled country is set for general elections on March 24 when the Thai people will elect a civilian government for the first time since 2014 when Royal Thai army led an army coup and toppled the then elected rulers.

Bangkok's local government revealed late Sunday night that of the 929,061 people registered early voters in Bangkok, as many as 810,306 participated in the election.

Thailand held its last elections some six years ago.

The Thai election commission sought to ease concerns over the safety of the ballot boxes which will be counted after March 24 elections saying that media and members of political parties will be allowed to observe the ballot boxes where they are being kept under police protection.

The run-up to upcoming elections witnessed the Thai Constitutional Court disbanding Thai Raksa Chart party for nominating a royal family member -- Princess Ubolratana who has already relinquished her royal status in 1972 -- as its candidate for the prime minister’s post.

The members of the party were banned from actively participating in any political activity for the coming ten years.

Thai Army-installed Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha -- a former army general -- is running for the top executive post.

Incumbent Thai army chief Apirat Kongsompong has expressed his support for Prayut.

A party must secure a majority in the both houses of the parliament to form the government.

Some 350 members will be directly elected in the lower house while remaining 150 will be awarded according to each party's popularity in the polls.

The 250-seat upper house will be appointed entirely by the armed forces.

source: News Feed
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