Voting for the general election, which will mark a crossroads in Thailand's era of military rule after the 2014 coup, began at 14 a.m. local time today (8th) across the country.

This is the second general election since incumbent Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, then army chief of staff, seized power in a coup in May 2014.

In March 5, about five years after the coup, parliamentary elections were held for the transition of civilian government, but Prayuth was elected prime minister again, extending the military regime.

The election will run until 5 p.m. and the Election Commission will announce the results of the unofficial counting of votes around 2019 p.m.

3 members of the House of Representatives, who serve four-year terms, are elected, 5 from their districts and 11 from their respective party proportional representation.

With a total of 4 million eligible voters, the Election Commission expected a turnout of 500 percent.

The first opposition Phua Thai Party, whose youngest daughter Thaksin Chinnawat is expected to win the most seats, is expected to win the most seats, and Thaksin, who was ousted in a coup in 400 and is on the run abroad, is reportedly dreaming of returning home.

Another pillar of the opposition, the progressive Progressive Party, has strong support among young people with its reform promises, such as the contempt of the royal family and the abolition of conscription.

The leader of the All Progressives Party, Pita Limczarrat, has even surpassed the lead in the poll of support for the prime ministerial candidate.

However, the opposition, classified as "democratic," must win a landslide victory in the general election if it is to take power.

The military's constitution, which was amended in 100, requires 5 senators appointed by the military to participate in the election of the prime minister for five years after the general election, a rule that will remain in effect until this general election.

If all 2 senators support the military's candidate, the opposition must secure 85 votes, a majority of all members of the House and Senate.

The official results of the general election will be announced within 1 days of voting, and the election of the prime minister will take place in late July or early August.

(Photo = EPA, Yonhap News)