05:02 GMT +323 April 2019
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    Thais Cast Votes in First Parliamentary Polls Since 2014 Coup

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Thais went to the polls on Sunday morning to vote in the first parliamentary election since the military seized power in a 2014 coup.

    Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. local time (1:00GMT), with around 51 million voters eligible to cast ballots in the election, largely seen as a standoff between the military and anti-junta parties.

    All 500 seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs. The lower house of the Thai parliament will choose the next government together with the Senate, which is appointed by the Thai military.

    Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the head of the Thai military who led the coup, is the sole prime ministerial nominee of the Palang Pracharat Party, according to the Thai Public Broadcasting Service.

    READ MORE: ‘Feels Good’: First Thai Elections Since 2014 Coup See Big Early Voter Turnout

    He is challenged by Sudarat Keyuraphan, the leader of the Pheu Thai Party, which supports Thailand’s ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra; Abhisit Vejjajiva of the Democrat Party; and Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit of the Future Forward Party.

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