THAILAND
Parliamentary Chamber: Saphaphuthan Ratsadon

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1995

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Chamber:
  Saphaphuthan Ratsadon


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  2 July 1995


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all seats in the House of Representatives following the premature dissolution of this body on 19 May 1995. General elections had previously been held in September 1992.


Background and outcome of elections:

  General elections were not normally due until four years later. On 19 May 1995, the ruling four-party coalition Government headed by Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai (Democrat Party) collapsed when the Palang Dharma ("Righteous Force") party withdrew from the alliance shortly before a scheduled parliamentary vote of no-confidence due to a scandal related to a government land-reform programme. The Prime Minister thereupon dissolved the House of Representatives, called for the premature elections and remained as the head of a caretaker government.

Altogether 2285 candidates and 12 parties contested the enlarged House's 391 seats (up from 360). With few issues separating the major groups, personalities overshadowed policy debate during the costly and generally peaceful campaign, which was marked by allegations of corruption and vote-buying.

On polling day, voters included 18-year-old citizens for the first time. According to final results, no single party won an overall majority and the military-backed Chart Thai (Thai Nation) main opposition group wrested control from the Democrats, obtaining 92 seats to the latter's 86. This outcome prompted accusations of bribery on the part of the victors, particularly in rural areas. Headed by Mr. Chamlong Srimuang, Palang Dharma, for its part, incurred heavy losses. On this basis, Chart Thai leader Banharn Silpa-Archa announced the establishment of a seven-party coalition Government (which together held 233 House seats) and he was appointed Prime Minister by King Bhumibol on 13 July, thus ending Mr. Chuan's record stint in this post after having been elected as a parliamentarian. The new coalition promised political reform and further development in the economic sector, which was already growing by 8% per year. On 18 July, Mr. Banharn's Cabinet was appointed.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (2 July 1995): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 37,817,983
Voters 23,462,746 (62.04%)

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Candidates
Chart Thai* 271
Democrat Party (DP) 324
New Aspiration Party (NAP)* 218
Chart Patthana 215
Palang Dharma* 235
Social Action Party* 117
Prachakorn Thai* 158
Nam Thai* 199
Seritham 115
Ekkaparb 136
Muan Chon* 175

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Chart Thai* 92 +15
Democrat Party (DP) 86 +7
New Aspiration Party (NAP)* 57 +6
Chart Patthana 53 -7
Palang Dharma* 23 -24
Social Action Party* 22 =
Prachakorn Thai* 18 +15
Nam Thai* 18 +18
Seritham 11 +3
Ekkaparb 8 =
Muan Chon* 3 -1

Comments:
  *members of the governing coalition
31 seats added since last elections

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 367
Women: 24

Distribution of seats according to age:  
25-29 years 5
30-39 years 79
40-49 years 135
50-59 years 114
60-69 years 52
70 years and over 6


Distribution of seats according to profession:

 
Politicians 208
Commercial/Business 115
Lawyers 19
Former government service 12
Farmers 12
Employees 9
Others 16


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Copyright 1995 Inter-Parliamentary Union