THAI GOVERNMENT PARTY WINS NO MANDATE IN ELECTIONS

Created: 2/20/1969

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Thai Government Party Wins no Mandate jn Elections

government's failure toajority in the lower house ejections onebruary isfor the military but it will not result in any dramatic changes in the way Thailand is ruled.

The government's Saha Pracfca Thai Party won onlyf the seats in the lower house. Independent candidates, many of whom have ties with the government party, took about ercent. The opposition Democratic Party wonercent, and thewent to splinter parties.

There were no major surprises in the voting. The government fared less well in isolated areas than had been anticipated,and two leading leftists were beaten in their northeast baliwicks. The number ofelected over well-known old-time politicians suggests that the sentiment for change among the electorate was fairly strong. The voting itself went smoothly, with no significantor irregularities

The government party's slim plurality presumably willenough justification for the present cabinet to bepossibly with some minor changes, as the newwhen parliament convenes next month,

The government should have little difficulty bringing into line enough independents toorking majority in the lower house, Thailand's military* dominated leadership had made it clear, however, that it willopposition efforts to amend those sections of thethat severely limit the powers of the lower house. The senate, whose members are picked by the government, has virtual veto power over important.

The election will, however, influence to some extent both the future policies and make-up of the military leadership. they will have to tread lightly, opposition elements for the first time in over ten years have a legitimate forum in which to express political dissent.

lear mandate from the electorate, the countryeadership will be moreof such views than they would have been otherwise. Theparty's poor showing, particularly in Bangkok where it won no seats, may also aggravate factional disputes within the establishment.

Pug* 4 WEEKLY SUMMARY eb 69

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