Thai voters cast early ballots one week before election

Bangkok, May 7 (BNA): Many Thais lined up Sunday in long lines to vote early in the parliamentary elections scheduled for May 14.

The country’s election commission reported that more than 2 million Thais have registered for early voting out of 52 million eligible voters aged 18 or over.

“I hope to see change and improvement in management,” said Gosol Bongtako, 51, one of the 800,000 Bangkok residents who registered for early voting just one day in the capital.

Another voter, 34-year-old Siriporn Namvit, said she voted for the change. “It’s like seeing what the previous government did and now hoping that a new administration will take over and govern more effectively,” she told Reuters.

The election could upset the status quo after more than eight years of a conservative, pro-military government led by former army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha.

Prayuth, 69, who first came to power in a 2014 coup and remained prime minister after a 2019 election that critics said was rigged in favor of the junta leader, a charge the government denies, is far behind opposition parties in recent opinion polls.

The opposition Pheu Thai Party, a populist group that won five general elections before 2019 and was ousted by Prayuth in a coup, leads most opinion polls, followed by the Progressive Action Party. Elections are held for the 500-seat Chamber of Deputies.


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