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Thailand' Electoral Commission: Pro-Army Party Wins Popular Vote

FILE - An electoral member shows a ballot during the vote counting, during the general election in Bangkok, Thailand, March 24, 2019.

Thailand's Election Commission said Thursday, the pro-army Palang Pracharat Party won the popular vote in Sunday's (March 24) general election with 8.4 million ballots.

Krit Urwongse, deputy-secretary general of the Election Commission said the main opposition Pheu Thai Party, which was toppled in a military coup five years ago received 7.9 million votes.

Although the results represent all the ballots counted, the tally remains unofficial until final results are revealed on May 9.

The commission has not announced the full number of seats for each party in the 500-seat House of Representatives.

Both the pro-army Palang Pracharat, which campaigned on keeping coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha as elected prime minister, and an anti-junta "democratic front" have claimed a mandate to form the next government, but it is unclear if either side will be able to gather enough votes in parliament to form a workable government.

A government led by the incumbent prime minister may start as a minority, but it would likely to try to entice members from the opposition to switch sides.

Without a majority in parliament, his government would struggle to pass any laws.