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Turbulent Thailand

Thai junta steps into unfamiliar terrain ahead of first electoral test

PM Prayuth faces challenge as voter sentiment seen leaning toward pro-democracy camp

BANGKOK -- Thailand's military leaders are stepping into an unfamiliar political ring at the tail end of their more than four-and-a-half-year grip on power, as they face the rough-and-tumble of electoral politics to try to secure votes for a pro-junta party in the February general election.

Early signs suggest the generals face a formidable challenge on the road to the polls, which will be framed as a contest between political parties representing the country's pro-democracy camp against the largely ultra-conservative, anti-democratic camp -- the junta's allies.

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