Election 2019 unofficial results: Pheu Thai leads in seats, but overall winner anybody’s guess

Pheu Thai prime minister candidate Sudarat Keyuraphan  campaigns in the final days of the March 25 election. Photo: Pheu Thai Party / Facebook
Pheu Thai prime minister candidate Sudarat Keyuraphan campaigns in the final days of the March 25 election. Photo: Pheu Thai Party / Facebook

After reneging yesterday on a months-old promise to release full unofficial election results on the same day as the vote, Thailand’s Election Commision (EC) this afternoon released a breakdown of seats won by each party, with the Thaksin Shinawatra-aligned Pheu Thai party taking a decisive lead.

However, the number of seats tells an incomplete story, with the EC also noting that despite Pheu Thai’s lead in seats, the pro-junta Palang Pracharat was ahead in terms of its share of the popular vote. The distinction has only created further uncertainty as to which party will ultimately control the lower house of parliament, given that only 350 of the body’s 500 seats are directly elected.

The remaining 150 are allocated based on parties’ share of the popular vote, which is still unknown.

As of around 5:30pm today, the EC’s unofficial seat count for the 350 directly elected seats was as follows:

Pheu Thai: 137

Palang Pracharat: 97

Bhumjaithai: 39

Democrat: 33

Future Forward: 30

Prachachart: 7

Chartthai Pattana: 6

Ruam Palang Prachachart Thai: 1

Regardless of how the fight for seats in the lower house shakes out, the pro-junta side will undoubtedly benefit from a military-appointed 250-seat Senate.

In a press conference this afternoon, the EC announced that the total number of votes cast for each party will be released later, hopefully sometime this week.

The commission, meanwhile, blamed widespread accusations of foul play within the behind-the-scenes management of the count on the misinterpretation and misreporting of the EC’s raw data.

“I don’t know what happened with the reports of each television station,” said EC Deputy Secretary General Nath Laoseesawakul.

“Please wait a little longer … We have nothing to hide.”

The commission leaders have said they will look into the roughly 110 complaints related to alleged election irregularities that have been filed so far, reported Thai Publica.

The official results will be announced by May 9.

Meanwhile, the anti-junta Pheu Thai party which won the most MP seats so far declared in their press conference that took place after the Election Commission’s that they are ready to form a new coalition government with parties that don’t support the junta’s succession of power.

“We promise we won’t disappoint the people. We’ll follow their will. Their benefits will be our first priority,” said party leader Sudarat Keyuraphan.

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