Election results are warning from people: Abhisit
Unofficial tallies of ballots from a Sunday election which saw Thai Rak Thai Party trailing with "no votes" in Bangkok was a warning signal from the people to embattled caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Monday.
[See unofficial results here]
"This is a warning from the people. This is something strange and new, to have so many no votes," he said. Preliminary vote counts of 90 per cent of the ballots in Bangkok had the Thai Rak Thai receiving fewer votes than abstentions in 28 out of 36 constituencies.
In the general election last year, Thai Rak Thai won more than 30 of Bangkok's constituencies.
Of 17 southern provinces, the traditional stronghold of the Democrat party, were also showing a majority of no votes, but, according to preliminary counts, the Thai Rak Thai was claiming the majority vote in the northern and north-eastern provinces.
Three Opposition parties; Democrat, Chat Thai and Machon parties have boycotted the Sunday election as they viewed that Thaksin's House dissolution, that led to Sunday election was not legitimate.
Under the constitution, a sole candidate must win at least 20 per cent of the eligible votes in his or her constituency to win. With many no votes cast in Bangkok and the southern provinces, it was expected that there will need to be several rounds of elections, delaying the opening of parliament and possibly leading to a constitutional crisis.
Thaksin, in pre-election speeches, vowed to stay on as prime minister if his party wins more than half the votes cast on Sunday.