Six-party coalition to form new Thailand government

By Xinhua

Bangkok : Six political parties of Thailand, led by the People Power Party (PPP), have announced they will form a new coalition government Saturday.

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The PPP grabbed the maximum number of parliamentary seats in the Dec 23 general elections.

The coalition has over 300 seats out of 480 in the House of Representatives, which will convene its first session Jan 21.

The Democrat Party, which won 165 seats, will be the sole opposition party in the House.

PPP’s leader Samak Sundaravej, along with representatives from the five other parties, Chart Thai (Thai Nation) Party, Puea Pandin (For the motherland) Party, Ruam Jai Thai Chart Pattana (Thais United National Development) Party, Matchima Thipataya (Neutral Democratic) Party and Pracharaj (Royal People) Party, made the announcement at a press conference here Saturday afternoon.

Samak said the six-party coalition, with a total of 315 parliamentary seats in the 480-member House of Representatives, would be able to form the new government.

When asked if he would become Thailand’s new prime minister as he promised during the election campaign, Samak said the press conference was only for announcing the coalition and not for discussing the new prime ministerial candidate.

The announcement came one day after the Supreme Court dismissed the legal attempts to nullify the voting results of the general election and the legitimacy of PPP’s election victory.

The court Friday ruled against the petition by New Aspiration Party spokesman Sarawut Thongpen that sought to nullify the outcome of the advance and absentee voting Dec 15 and 16.

The court said the advance voting was valid and the election commission was authorised to organise the two-day voting.

The PPP said the House would choose a speaker Jan 22 and a prime minister on Jan 25. The coalition will choose the cabinet members after the two appointments.