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BANGKOK – Voting is underway in Thailand's first election since the military ousted an elected government in a 2014 coup.
Prime Minister Prayuth Cha-cha, the army chief who led the coup, is hoping to extend his time in power after engineering a new political system that aims to stifle the influence of big political parties not aligned with the military.
About 51 million Thais are eligible to vote Sunday. Leaders of civilian political parties have urged a high turnout as the only way to derail Prayuth's plans.
The election is the latest chapter in a nearly two-decade struggle between conservative forces including the military and the political machine of Thaksin Shinawatra, a tycoon who upended tradition-bound Thailand's politics with a populist political revolution.