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THAILAND ELECTS OPPOSITION PARTY, FIRST FEMALE PM

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BANGKOK, Thailand - Thailand's opposition Phue Thai Party's prime minister candidate Yingluck Shinnawatra declared victory while ruling Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva conceded his party's defeat hours after the voting ended in the Southeast Asian nation's general election on Sunday.
Abhisit congratulated Yingluck, the youngest sister of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was overthrown by a 2006 military coup and now lives in exile in Dubai to avoid a corruption conviction.
  • "It is now clear from the election results so far that the Puea Thai Party has won the election, and the Democrat Party concedes defeat. I would like to congratulate the Puea Thai Party for the right to form a government," he said on television Sunday.
  • With 98 per cent of the vote counted, preliminary results from the Election Commission indicated Yingluck's Pheu Thai party had a strong lead with 264 of 500 parliament seats, well over the majority needed to form a government. Abhisit's Democrats won 160 seats.
  • The apparent election result paves the way for Yingluck to become the Southeast Asian Kindom's first female prime minister.
  • Speaking to a throng of cheering supporters at her party headquarters in Bangkok, Yingluck declined to declare victory until final results are released. But she said: "I don't want to say that Pheu Thai wins today. It's a victory of the people."
In an interview broadcast on the Thai PBS television station, former Thailand PM, Thaksin Shinawatra(left photo) called the preliminary outcome "a step forward." He has also stated earlier in the weekend that he would not be returning to Thailand if it was seen to cause problems.
Yingluck was earlier quoted as saying if she wins the vote she would attempt to address Thailand's growing gap between the rich and poor.
Source:Agency
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