Voting has ended in Thailand’s contentious parliamentary election. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra called the snap poll last month after thousands demonstrated daily to demand he step down over corruption and abuse of power allegations.
Thaksin says he will resign if his party receives less than 50 percent – an outcome seen as highly unlikely because of his popularity among rural voters who’ve benefited from his social welfare programmes. All three opposition parties are boycotting the polls. However they have asked voters to cast their ballots and tick a box indicating they abstain from choosing a candidate. That could lead to a constitutional crisis, if the Prime Minister does not get a minimum 20 percent of voters to turn out in each district in order to seat all 500 members of parliament. Results are expected tomorrow. Hours after the polling booths closed nine people were hurt when two bombs exploded in Thailand’s rebellious Muslim far south.