March 24, 2019 / 1:26 AM / in a month

Polls open for Thailand's first election since 2014 military coup

A voter waits at a polling station to cast their vote in the general election in Bangkok, Thailand, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Polls opened on Sunday for Thailand’s first election since a 2014 military coup, a vote that is being seen as a contest between the country’s junta leader who wants to stay on as elected leader and a “democratic front” of anti-junta parties.

About 51.4 million people are eligible to vote in the election, which analysts say is likely to be inconclusive and could usher in a new phase of political instability.

More than 93,000 polling stations in 77 provinces will be open until 5 p.m. (1000 GMT). The election commission has said that the first unofficial results will be available three hours after voting ends.

Reporting by John Chalmers; Editing by Sam Holmes

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