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Thai election

Thai election a referendum on military role in politics

Stakes high, but insiders say chance of new coup slim in short term

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha poses during a campaign rally in Bangkok in April. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

BANGKOK -- After nearly a decade in power, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha marches into Sunday's general election seeking a fresh term as the standard-bearer for an active role for the military in Thailand's politics.

Prayuth's quest to soldier on, despite polling third place in successive surveys, has raised the stakes in the May 14 election for Thailand's 52 million registered voters. One overarching theme is uniquely Thai: The elections are a referendum on the military's role in the country's deeply polarized politics.

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