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Election season has begun in Thailand. People there will be voting for the country's next prime minister come July. The race is heated between the country's current prime minister and the opposition. It comes today exactly one year after the government's violent crackdown on red shirt protestors.
Thai political party members registered to run in the elections on Thursday, kicking off campaigning ahead of the crucial July general elections.
The election is expected to be a close race between the Puea Thai Party and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's (PRO ab-hi-sit way-JAH-jay-vah's) ruling Democrat Party.
Current prime minister Vejjajiva, will run for the Democratic party whiles members of the Puea Thai Party opted for Yingluck Shinawatra (PRON shin-a-wat). Yingluck is the president of SC Assets Corporation and is younger sister of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra. (PRON tak-sin shin-a-wat)
Each party submits at most 125 names for the party list, and 375 names for the constituency system to Election Commission.
Political party members gathered at the Thai-Japan Youth Center and picked out the
numbers which will represent the party on the voting sheet and party list.
[Yingluck Shinawatra, Puea Thai Prime Ministerial Candidate]:
"Normally, the number one is a lucky number for Thai people. I am happy and very excited and hope people will listen to our Puea Thai policies. I'm confident that our Puea Thai policy will match with people's needs."
Yingluck was educated in the United States and keeps a low profile, and has had no official role in Thai politics. She will be regarded as a proxy for Thaksin if she is voted into office and would become Thailand's first female prime minister.