Unofficial tally lands Chuwit in Parliament

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Former massage-parlour tycoon Chuwit Kamolvisit will make his way to Parliament for the first time after the Election Commission yesterday announced that unofficial results from party-list voting means his Chat Thai Party will win seven party-list House seats.

Chuwit is ranked sixth on Chat Thai’s list of party-list candidates.

EC Secretary-General Ekkachai Warunprapha said the EC had received results of party-list ballot counting from 397 constituencies. The ballots in the three remaining constituencies were being counted as the EC ordered new voting in some constituency polling stations.

Ekkachai said 29.774 million voters from the 397 constituencies had exercised their voting rights and Thai Rak Thai, Democrat and Chat Thai were the three parties that received more than 5 per cent of party-list votes.

He said the party-list votes received by the three parties added up to 28.002 million votes, so 280,000 votes would be used as the base to calculate the number of party-list MPs for each of the three parties.

Thai Rak Thai received 18.896 million votes and would receive 68 party-list MPs, the Democrats received 7.066 million votes and would get 25 party-list MPs, while Chat Thai would win seven party-list MPs for the 2.039 million votes it received.

Ekkachai said he believed the tallies from the three remaining constituencies would not make the party-list results much different and the EC should be able to announce the official results of party-list voting today.

He said the EC had received official results of constituency voting from 329 constituencies and counting continued in three constituencies while the rest of the constituencies were in process of verifying results.

Chuwit became a selling point for Chat Thai in Bangkok with posters urging voters to help push “an ordinary man”, as he described himself.

Chuwit sold his massage parlours before contesting the Bangkok governor election, in which he came an impressive third.

He became well-known to Bangkokians after declaring that he had to pay huge regular bribes to police to keep his parlours running. While critics said he only had his own interests at heart, his action appeared to win the hearts of young voters.

Chuwit said yesterday that he would continue to expose bad people while working in Parliament.

Upon learning that his party would win seven party-list MPs, Banharn appeared cheerful and said his party was successful in the election.

Those who underestimated Chat Thai and said they would not win any party-list seats deserved a bang on the head, said the former prime minister, clenching his right hand with the palm up as if to lop off someone’s head.

Published on February 10, 2005

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