Bangkok — The run-up to Thailand’s weekend vote was “heavily tilted” to benefit a party close to the ruling military junta, an Asian election monitor said on Tuesday, and criticised a messy ballot-counting process that created mistrust. Persistent confusion about results two days after Sunday’s vote has diminished hopes that the first election since a 2014 military coup would end nearly 15 years of political turmoil in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy. The Bangkok-based Asian Network for Free Elections (Anfrel) stopped short of declaring outright fraud in the election, in which both a pro-junta party and an opposition party linked to a self-exiled former premier have claimed victory. “The environment at large is heavily tilted to benefit the military junta,” Amaël Vier, an official of the civil society group that seeks to promote democratic elections, told a news briefing. “A lot of people still express distrust towards the electoral process.” Asked if the election had been f...

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