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Politics

Thaksin-linked candidate's electoral victory rocks Thai government

Bangkok voters all but make Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha a lame duck

Supporters of former Prime Minister and fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra gather in the center of Bangkok on May 19 to mark the 12th anniversary of a Red Shirt protest.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- By giving a landslide victory to a Thaksin-linked candidate in Bangkok's gubernatorial election on Sunday, the voters of Thailand's largest city sent a clear message to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's ruling party: They believe the Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) is in a tailspin and that the opposition Pheu Thai Party is likely to stage a comeback in a general election due next year.

Bangkok's new governor is Chadchart Sittipunt, a former transport minister who has long been associated with the Pheu Thai Party and remains close to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who skipped out of the country in 2008 during a corruption case against him and has been living in self-imposed exile ever since. Thaksin was ousted from power by a military coup in 2006.

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