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Thailand

Five party coalition to govern Thailand

Reuters/Adrees Latif

Allies of Thailand’s fugitive former leader Thaksin Shinawatra have announced the formation of a governing coalition with four smaller parties. Chart Thai Pattana, Chart Pattana Pheupandink, Palangchon and Mahachon will join with the Puea Thai party to hold 299 out of 500 seats in the lower house of parliament. 

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The announcement follows victory for the opposition Puea Tha in Sunday’s election with 265 seats well ahead of the 159 polled by outgoing premier Abhisit Vejjajiva of the Democrat Party. The results paves the way for Thaksin’s sister Yingluck Shinawatra to become the first Thai female premier.

On Monday, Vejjajiva resigned as head of the party saying there would be a meeting within 90 days to elect a new leader. Abhisit’s deputy prime minister, Suthep Thaugsuban, also tendered his resignation on Monday. Suthep is disliked by Thaksin’s ‘Red Shirt’ supporters for his role overseeing national security last year during a military crackdown on their protest.

Thai stocks rose nearly five per cent after the election win appeared to reassure traders that stability could return to the politically divided country.

By late afternoon on Monday, the Stock Exchange of Thailand composite index jumped 4.81 per cent or 50.09 points, to 1,091.57 in a day of heavy trading.

Yingluck Shinawatra has said the first urgent issue  for the government is to achieve reconciliation.

Thailand has been plagued by internal division since Thaksin was ousted by a military coup in 2006.

This election comes a year after protests against the current government left more than 90 people dead. Many of the demonstrators were supporters of Thaksin.

 

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