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Thaksin Claims Victory in Thailand Elections - 2005-02-06


Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has declared victory in Thailand's election, with what appears to be a massive mandate.

Mr. Thaksin's declaration came after opposition leader Benyat Bantadtan conceded defeat as exit polls projected Mr. Thaksin's party winning 399 of the 500 seats in Parliament.

If the result is the same in an official tally due late today (Sunday), it would give Mr. Thaksin a historic second landslide victory, paving the way for him to form a single-party government. Even if all opposition parties banded together, they would not have enough seats to pass a no-confidence vote in Parliament.

Mr. Thaksin had urged voters to give him a mandate to complete his program to eliminate poverty. Opposition parties said such a mandate could result in a single-party dictatorship.

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