March 25, 2019 / 12:39 PM / 4 months ago

Thailand's junta "manipulated" election, ousted PM Thaksin says in NYT article

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra looks on as he speaks to Reuters during an interview in Singapore February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s ousted former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, said on Monday that the ruling military junta “manipulated” the results of an election after a party of his loyalists did worse than expected.

Partial results of Sunday’s election, the first since a military coup in 2014, showed an unexpected popular vote lead for a pro-military party that wants to keep junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister.

“I knew that the junta running Thailand wanted to stay in power, but I cannot believe how far it has gone to manipulate the general election on Sunday,” Thaksin wrote in the opinion piece in the New York Times.

Reuters could not immediately reach a government spokesman to seek comment.

A pro-Thaksin party on Monday also alleged cheating and said it was considering a legal challenge to the polls.

Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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