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Thailand

Thailand's new parliament elects speaker

Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom

Thailand's new parliament convened for business for the first time on Tuesday, electing a speaker from premier-in-waiting Yingluck Shinawatra's Puea Thai party. Somsak Kiatsuranond was elected unopposed, a day after the parliamentary session's opening ceremony.

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Yingluck is set to be the country’s first-ever female prime minister when parliament votes on the premiership. Somsak says that will be on Thursday or Friday after his endorsement by the king.

The 3 July election saw the return to power of supporters of Yingluck’s exiled brother, Thaksin.

Puea Thai has formed a six-party coalition that controls three-fifths of the lower chamber's 500 seats.

Ahead of parliament's convening, Yingluck told reporters she had decided on half of the positions in her cabinet.

All 500 parliamentarians have now been endorsed by election officials, including Jatuporn Prompan, who is awaiting trial on terrorism charges over last year's Red Shirt rallies but was freed on bail from prison on Tuesday.

He addressed hundreds of red-clad supporters gathered outside Bangkok Remand Prison after his release.

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