Unofficial results in Thailand’s election out Sunday night (unless they aren’t)

Photo: Per Meistrup / CC BY-SA 4.0
Photo: Per Meistrup / CC BY-SA 4.0

Polls will close at 5pm on Sunday, and while the Election Commission has promised to release unofficial results that night, don’t expect to know the final outcome for weeks.

While various media outlets will provide live coverage from the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road, people can find the real-time data for themselves at the ECT Report site, which will go live Sunday.

English-language broadcasters likely to provide live coverage include Channel News Asia and select ThaiPBS coverage.

The commission has said it will release the unofficial results by 10pm, but that should be taken with a grain of salt after the mess it made of the last election in 2019. After that, the commission has given itself 60 days to certify and publicize the final results – by July 23.

A somewhat cynical guide to Thailand’s 2023 election

Four years ago, the commission also promised to release unofficial results within hours of polls closing. When people began noticing discrepancies in the data, it shut down the effort and didn’t release anything further for four days, only to have those results’ errors also sowing confusion. It wasn’t until 45 days after the election that the full, official results were announced.

So far this year, the commission’s performance has not instilled confidence.

There are 52 million people eligible to vote. The issues hanging over the vote are the ongoing rule of military-aligned elements led by Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, cannabis decriminalization, longshot reform of the monarchy, and, most recently, the possible return of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

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