Thailand's Pheu Thai Party wins majority of parliament

13:14, July 04, 2011      

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Opposition Pheu Thai Party got 265 seats of parliament out of 500 in Sunday's general election, the first in nearly four years.

The ruling Democrat Party won 159 MPs with Bhum Jai Thai Party 34 seats and Chart Thai Pattana Party 19 MPs, the other seven parties got the other 23 MPs, according to the Election Commission on Monday.

With the landslide victory of Pheu Thai Party, Yingluck Shinawatra, the party's prime ministerial candidate, would become the country's 28th and the first female prime minister, but she said her premiership depended on parliamentary process.

Yingluck thanked Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, the outgoing prime minister, for congratulating her.

Abhisit conceded his party's defeat and congratulated his main rival Pheu Thai Party on its decisive victory on Sunday.

"I admitted the defeat and would like to congratulate Khun (Ms) Yingluck as the first female prime minister of Thailand," Abhisit told a press conference.

He said he would like to see reconciliation in Thai society and that his party will perform its duty as an opposition in a constructive way.

People from all walks of life enthusiastically involved in the election on Sunday, as they believe the election results will be of significance in shaping the future of Thailand.

Most of observers said they have never seen Thai voters queue up in long lines for balloting before.

Thai people expected this election would heal political division between different political factions -- between the pro- Thaksin "Red Shirts" and the pro-establishment "Yellow Shirts", and between the working classes and rural poor and the middle- classes and the urban elites.

The bloodless coup that ousted Thaksin in 2006 has simmered grievances and hatred among his supporters, who then called themselves the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship ( UDD), better known as Red Shirt movement, when took the streets in 2009 and 2010.

The prolonged protests against Abhisit's government in 2010 eventually led to forceful dispersal in which some 91 people were killed and nearly 1,900 injured.

The British-born, Oxford-educated Abhisit Vejjajiva, coming into power via the parliamentary votes in December 2008, has been strongly supported by the urban middle classes and the establishment elites. The pro-establishment People Alliance for Democracy (PAD), or Yellow Shirts, which toppled down two Thaksin' s proxy governments, is mostly allied with the Democrats.

After the riots, Abhisit pledged to work toward a process of national reconciliation to heal class and political divisions.

The election is perhaps far less important than whether or not all political colors will accept the results.

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