BANGKOK Thailand (July 3, 2011) - Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has conceded defeat to the party allied with the controversial ex-Prime Minister Thanksin Shinawatra in Thailand'a election that is seen as a prelude to more tension.
Thaksin's sister, 44-year old Yingluck Shinawatra, who is an admitted stand-in for him, is set to become Thailand's first female prime minister. But even as they are victorious, supporters fear that 'dark hands will take away our rights again.'
"There is a lot more hard work to do," Yingluck said before cheering fans. "There are many things to accomplish to make reconciliation possible."
Thanksin's supporters celebrated upon hearing that preliminary results show their party had secured more than 260 of parliament's 500 seats.
Major polling organizations had predicted that Yingluck's Pheu Thai party would get more than the 250 seats required to form a new government.
The opposition's victory is expected to pave the way for the return from exile of Thanksin who is known to have called the shots from Dubai and put the tab for party's campaign expenses.
Thaksin who is in self-imposed exile, avoiding a two-year sentence on corruption charges after he was ousted from power in a 2006 military coup, is also expected to be given amnesty.
Apparently most voters do not really mind.
"I like Yingluck, and it doesn't bother me that Thaksin will be the real one running things," said one female voter.
"Those were good times when he was prime minister," she added. "I'm just afraid that, with her victory, dark hands will take away our rights again."
Yingluck said she took her mandate seriously. "I'll put the country before me and my family," she promised.
Open to conjecture is whether the nation's powerbrokers, led by the army and the monarchy, will accept the results after backing incumbent Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's Democrat Party.
Analysts also doubt if the victors can govern effectively.
Many expect the losers in Sunday's election, which broadly pitted farmers and rural poor against "old-money" elites, to take to the streets, sparking another cycle of violence and economic dislocation.
"There's absolutely, absolutely, absolutely going to be fighting," said a supporter of the Democrat Party. "Rule of law in Thailand isn't strong enough to endure all this."
Meanwhile, the soap opera that is Thai politics continues and bears watching. (From philstar.com, Vox Bikol)