Election officials released the first unofficial preliminary results for seats in the lower house Monday as a blizzard of complaints over apparent mistakes in the count and possible irregularities at the polls rolled in.
Jarungwit Pumma, secretary-general of the Election Commission, declined to comment and said questions about the results would be addressed at a news conference later today.
Critics slam voting system: Critics say the system, which was revised by the military junta, favors pro-military parties.
Pheu Thai, a party linked to the self-exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra whose loyalists have won every election since 2001, fell short of expectations that it would outdistance the military's proxy party.
The partial result did not say how numerous Lower House of Parliament constituencies its results reflected.
"People are trapped in this illusion of peace and stability portrayed by the military", he told Al Jazeera.
"Everyone knows in Thailand, everyone worldwide that observed the election in Thailand, knows that (there) is irregularities", he told Agence France-Presse (AFP) in an interview on Monday in Hong Kong.
The Thai party, which has named Prayut Chan-o-cha as the prime minister candidate, is leading the general election on Sunday.
That vote will likely take place sometime in May and give Palang Pracharath's candidate, current junta Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a considerable advantage.
A pro-Thaksin party on Monday also alleged cheating and said it was considering a legal challenge to the polls.
"It looks unlikely that a sizeable enough anti-junta majority will form in the House to put pressure on the military to back away", said Peter Mumford, an analyst at Eurasia Group, which advises worldwide companies on political risks.
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"I come to vote whenever there is an election", she said. Pheu Thai, the party overthrown by the coup, was next with 6.6 million.
Although formal ties between Thaksin and Pheu Thai are now legally banned, he amplified the accusations of foul play in an op-ed in The New York Times on Monday.
"We have received the most votes of all the parties that were running in the election", he told Al Jazeera in an interview at the party's headquarters, adding that they were in the process of building a coalition of like-minded parties.
An election official counts a ballot at a polling station in Lam Luk Ka district in Pathum Thani on Sunday.
A new political force, the Future Forward Party led by left-leaning millionaire businessman Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, campaigned on sending the military back to the barracks.
The military's party emulated Thaksin's populist formula in a bid to win more votes, proposing lower taxes, a minimum wage increase of more than 30%, and guaranteed prices for rubber, rice, and sugar cane.
"If you look at the number of ballots and the number of voter turnout, the ballots much more exceed the number of voter turnout in many provinces", he said. And because an unelected 250-member Senate appointed by the junta will also vote for prime minister, a party must win a combined 376 votes to assure victory. We have legitimacy, as we have gained the most trusted votes.
Thailand has been racked for the past 15 years by street protests by both Thaksin opponents and his supporters.
According to local reports, about 80 percent of the southeast Asia nation's 51.4 million electorate took part in the vote, the first political referendum in Thailand since the military seized control of the country's government in a 2014 coup.
The country's coup-peppered history means military power grabs "can never be ruled out", said analyst Thitinan Pongsudhirak, though he called it an "extreme outcome".
Thailand was rocked by rumours of a coup last month after Princess Ubolratana's run for prime minister was promptly slapped down by her brother King Maha Vajiralongkorn in a royal rebuke.