Thai PM's party win by landslide - TV exit poll

 

Thai Prime Minister Mr Thaksin Shinawatra's Thai Rak Thai party is seen winning 329 out of 400 constituencies nationwide, a Thai television exit poll said today minutes after voting finished.

The result, if borne out in the final official tally, would give Thaksin a historic second landslide victory. The exit poll was jointly conducted by six television channels and a Bangkok university.

The main opposition Democrat Party quickly conceded defeat. "I would like to congratulate Thai Rak Thai for achieving its goal of being a single-party government," Democrat leader Mr Banyat Bantadtan told reporters.

"I would like to encourage the two other opposition parties to join the Democrat party in monitoring the government for the benefit of the people," he said.

The result, if borne out in the final official tally, would give Thaksin a historic second landslide victory and make him easily the strongest elected leader in Thai history.

One of the country's richest men, who swept to power in 2001 on a populist platform of free health care and rural handouts, Mr Thaksin is already the only elected prime minister in Thailand's coup-prone history to finish a full term in office. His party is now set to establish sole grip on power in a country previously accustomed only to coalition government.

Official results from across the Southeast Asian nation will trickle in throughout the night and the Election Commission expects to have a final tally on Monday.