WSJ: “Rival Thai Parties Vie to Form Government”
Thailand’s rival political parties are racing to form the country’s next government this week, with the opposition Democrat Party claiming it has won the support of enough legislators to form a ruling coalition — a move its leaders say could ease the political turmoil that has mounted in recent months.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said Saturday his party had won the support of as many as 250 members of parliament, more than the 224 seats required to have a majority in the Thai legislature. Party spokesman Buranaj Smutharaks said Sunday the Democrats had recruited 260 lawmakers for a new coalition.
If the Democrats succeed in creating and maintaining a new coalition with a majority of seats, 44-year-old Mr. Abhisit is likely to be chosen as Thailand’s next prime minister.
However, it’s not certain Mr. Abhisit and the Democrats can deliver this majority. Followers of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra also are trying to form a government, reigniting a battle for control of Thailand, one of Southeast Asia’s largest economies and major production hub for multinationals such as Toyota Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co.
AP: “Thai opposition may take power, army’s aid hinted”
Thailand’s main opposition party called for an emergency parliament session Monday to prove its majority and form the next government — a surprising reversal of fortunes that some suggested was engineered by the politically potent military.
Democrat Party Secretary-General Suthep Thuagsuban filed a formal request for convening Parliament to demonstrate it has the support of enough legislators to form the next government and end months of political paralysis.
This Southeast Asian nation has been gripped by political chaos for three months, with protesters seizing the prime minister’s office and overrunning the capital’s two airports for about a week in a bid to topple the government, accusing it of being a proxy of fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.