Thailand elections: Polls open with Thaksin’s daughter as frontrunner

Voting has begun in Thailand’s general election, where the daughter of ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is the frontrunner.

The election is being described as a turning point for a country that has experienced a dozen military coups in its recent history.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army general who led the last coup in 2014, is seeking another term.

But he is facing a strong challenge from two anti-military parties.

Leading the race is Pheu Thai (For Thais), led by Mr Thaksin’s daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra. The 36-year-old is harnessing her father’s wide patronage network while sticking to the populist message that has resonated with rural, low-income regions of the country.

Mr Thaksin, a telecommunications billionaire, is loved by many lower income Thais but is deeply unpopular with the royalist elite. He was ousted in a military coup in 2006, when his opponents accused him of corruption. He has denied the allegations and has since been living in…

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