March 25, 2019 / 12:36 PM / 25 days ago

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

FILE PHOTO: 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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