Rohana Nishanta Hettiarachchie, left,  secretary general of The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) watches as Amael Vier, program officer for Capacity Building, right, speaks during a press conference concluding their election monitoring in Ba
Rohana Nishanta Hettiarachchie, left, secretary general of The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) watches as Amael Vier, program officer for Capacity Building, right, speaks during a press conference concluding their election monitoring in Ba

A regional election observation group is criticizing the initial results from Sunday’s general election in Thailand as “deeply flawed.”
 
Preliminary results released Monday by the country’s election commission show the military-backed Phalang Pracharat was leading in the ballot counting, but the populist Pheu Thai is leading in the number of parliamentary seats with 137 versus 97 seats for Phalang Pracharat. The commission blames the confusing and contradictory results on “human error.”

Reporters wait for the general election results in
FILE - Reporters wait for the general election results in Bangkok, Thailand, March 24, 2019.

The Asian Network for Free Elections issued a statement Tuesday calling the inaccurate results have damaged “the perceived integrity” of the general election.
 
The preliminary results have given both parties a claim that they have a legitimate mandate to form a post-junta coalition government.

Uttama Savanayana, Palang Pracharat Party leader, holds a news conference during the general election in Bangkok, Thailand, March 24, 2019.
Military-Backed Party Leads in Thai Elections
Thais waited Monday for the results of an election called a return to democratic rule, but which has been widely criticized as an exercise designed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha to entrench his military’s stranglehold on power.Preliminary official results released late Sunday showed that with 93 percent of ballots counted the military-backed Phalang Pracharat party was in the lead with about 7.6 million votes, short of what would be needed for a majority in parliament.In second place was the Pheu…

The Phalang Pracharat is led by army chief Prayut Chan-ocha, who has led the junta since ousting then-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014, while the Pheu Thai is affiliated with Yingluck’s brother, Thaksin, a telecommunications billionaire who was overthrown in a coup in 2006. Parties linked to Thaksin have won every general election 2001.

The final results are not expected to be announced until May 9.