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Pro-junta groups poach opposition politicians before Thai election

Military government hopes to win over rural voters

Thailand’s pro-military group supports Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to stay in power after the general election which could be held as early as February.(Getty Images)

BANGKOK -- Pro-military political forces in Thailand are stepping up the recruitment of politicians especially from the opposition Pheu Thai Party close to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra ahead of a general election that could be held as early as February.

The move is aimed at eating into PTP's electoral stronghold in rural villages in the northeastern and northern parts of Thailand so that the pro-military parties and their allies can win a majority in the lower house of the bicameral parliament. It has already managed to recruit dozens of former members of parliament, according to a local press report.

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