Agam's Gecko
Sunday, December 23, 2007

t's been almost five hours since the polls closed at 3 pm, and the winner is clearly the Thaksin proxy, Pak Palang Prachachon, the People's Power Party. With a voter turnout of just over 70%, PPP is being credited with 227 seats in the 480 seat parliament. This number is broken down into 400 seats elected by constituency, with another 80 seats allocated proportionately from party lists.

The most up to date results can be found here, shown as a pie chart (it's in Thai). PPP is red, Democrat is blue, Chart Thai in violet, Peua Pan Din in green.* The last three are (in descending order), Matchima Thipataya, Ruam Jai Thai Chat Pattana, and Pracharaj parties.

[* - colour scheme changed overnight, corrected here Monday am]

An English language page is available here for the "Gereral Election" (at least it wasn't labelled "General Erection"), but the result there is lagging a bit.

It may be very late by the time we know the final seat tally (or possibly tomorrow), and it looks like it will go right to the wire before it's determined whether Samak was able to secure a majority for Thaksin, which would require 241 or more. Samak is said to have already been in talks with minor parties to form a coalition, and he won't need more than one or two to put him over the top. On the other hand, Democrats would need all minor parties on side in order to form a government.

As expected, the north east went solidly for Thaksin... er, I mean PPP, with about three quarters of the seats. The south went even more massively for Democrats (nearly 90%), although they have less than half the number of parliamentary seats. The central region gave Democrats an edge of 40% to PPP's 33%. The north went for PPP in more than 60% of their seats. Samak did better than expected in Bangkok, at the moment taking 10 of the 36 seats, with Democrats taking the rest.

So whether or not the PPP manages to get a slim majority or just falls short, the horse trading will be underway for the next few days. Who will be better at pulling together a coalition? However the chips fall, the country will have a legitimate government and a sitting parliament, and this is miles ahead of the immovable mess Thaksin had gotten us into a year and a half ago. The people have spoken, so now we'll see if the politicians can put something workable together, and get to work.

UPDATE: [Monday noon] A planned meeting this morning to nail together a coalition for Samak, has been cancelled. Chart Thai leader Banharn seems to want to stick together with Suvit and his Peua Pan Din (which together account for about 67 seats), but he's keeping mum about which way they'll go. The still unofficial standing gives PPP 228 to Democrat's 166. I think maybe after his performance for the cameras last night, the party may have requested Samak to just keep his mouth shut for a while, and see if he can avoid offending anybody for the time being.

By contrast, Abhisit made a statement and answered some questions last night, and showed real class. I hope the contrast was as apparent to the minor party leaders, who were encouraged to make their decisions in the best interest of the country.

UPDATE 2: [Monday 5:30 pm] People's Power Party Secretary General Surapong Suebwonglee just held a press conference, stating that PPP has support from enough parties to form the government. He refused to say which parties those are, and said they would wait until the result is ratified by the Election Commission. Unofficial results now have the PPP with 232 seats (9 short of majority), Democrat 165, Chart Thai 37, Peua Pan Din 25, Ruam Jai Thai 9, Matchima 7, and Pracharat 5.


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