Thailand’s military junta gets its way in a rigged vote

Mar 25, 2019

Editor’s note (March 25th 2019): This piece has been amended to reflect the latest constituency results from the Election Commission.

“WE MUST let good people rule and ensure that bad people have no power to cause trouble and turmoil,” stated King Maha Vajiralongkorn, quoting his late father, on the eve of Thailand’s election on March 24th. Yet turmoil there was. Late on polling day the Election Commission announced without explanation that it would not, after all, release preliminary results from the vote until the day after. It does not have to release final results for 60 days. But unofficial returns suggest the generals who seized power in a coup almost five years ago have stacked the deck enough to retain power.

Around two-thirds of Thailand’s 51m voters turned out to cast ballots, a smaller share than in the previous election eight years ago. The decline will have disappointed those who depicted the poll as a battle to save democracy, including...


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