Thai political parties form coalition to stop military's return to power

Pheu Thai party leader Sudarat Keyuraphan (L) and Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit in Bangkok on March 27, 2019.

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN)Pro-democracy parties battling to block the military's return to power after Thailand's first election since a 2014 coup said Wednesday they have secured enough seats to form a government.

The main opposition Pheu Thai party, which was ousted before the coup, and six other parties announced they had forged a coalition accounting for 255 seats in the 500-member lower house of parliament.
"We want to stop the regime from hanging on to power," Pheu Thai's prime ministerial candidate Sudarat Keyuraphan told a press conference
    A military junta has ruled Thailand for the past five years under coup leader turned Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
      In response, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krue-ngam called the anti-junta coalition a "merely psychological strategy that will not bear fruit."
      The outcome of Sunday's election is still unclear, with no party taking a decisive lead but both leading parties -- Pheu Thai and the pro-military Palang Pracharat -- claiming the right to form a coalition. Persistent delays in the release of the final results have fueled confusion.
      Representatives of the pro-democracy coalition told reporters that together they could muster 255 seats based on preliminary results.
      "We have obtained the majority and received consensus from the people," said Sudarat. In the lower house, 350 seats will be filled with winners in the various constituencies and the remaining 150 through a party list proportional system