AFP, 27th MARCH, 2019 - Seven political parties formed a coalition in Thailand on Wednesday, vowing to thwart a military-backed proxy in a bid to end years of junta rule following the country’s first election since a 2014 coup.
A junta-aligned party and its main rival have both claimed the right to govern the country after Sunday’s vote, prompting a political standoff.
Questions over irregularities are swirling following invalidated ballots and accusations of skewed numbers, with a fully tally of official results not expected to be confirmed for several weeks.
The Pheu Thai party, affiliated with self-exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, joined forces with six other parties in a bid to halt military-backed factions from staying in government.
“We want to stop the regime from hanging onto power,” Pheu Thai’s prime ministerial candidate Sudarat Keyuraphan told reporters.
“Pro-democracy parties received the most trust and consensus by the people,” she added, conceding that final results have not yet been released.
Thailand has been ruled by a junta since a 2014 putsch led by General Prayut Chan-O-Cha, the prime ministerial candidate for the Phalang Pracharat Party.
His party stunned the pro-democracy camp by winning the popular vote on Sunday with 7.6 million ballots, according to preliminary results.
Its main rival Pheu Thai got 400,000 fewer votes, but is now aiming to take the majority of seats in the lower house with its newly-formed coalition.