More than 70% of soldiers living in the 11th Military Circle in Dusit district voted for Pheu Thai candidate Pongsapat Pongcharoen in the Bangkok governor election, unofficial results showed.
At the 50th polling station of the district, 187 votes went to Pol Gen Pongsapat, while Democrat candidate Sukhumbhand Paribatra won only 87, according to the unconfirmed count.
At the 52nd polling station of the same district, 195 votes went to Pol Gen Pongsapat and 97 to MR Sukhumbhand.
Similarly, Pol Gen Pongsapat commanded 253 votes at the 55th polling station of Dusit district, while MR Sukhumbhand earned 84.
"This is an era of voting freedom when it's impossible to instruct soldiers to vote for a particular candidate," said a head of a military unit at the 11th Military Circle, who spoke anonymously.
"They have the right to make their own choices and it's army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha's policy to allow all soldiers to vote according to their own conscience," he said.
A military source said the majority of soldiers at the 11th Military Circle were from the Northeast, the political stronghold of the Pheu Thai Party and ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
"Sometimes, their families have a strong influence on who they vote for," the source said. "Their superiors, meanwhile, dare not instruct them to vote for any candidate for fear of being captured on a smartphone while issuing such an instruction."
About the author
- Writer: Wassana Nanuam