Pro-army party in Thailand to cement deal to keep junta leader as PM: lawmaker

May 26, 2019

BANGKOK (Reuters) – A pro-army in Thailand will cement a deal on Monday to gain enough parliamentary seats to keep the current military junta leader in power as an elected prime minister, a lawmaker and executive board member of the party told Reuters.

Palang Pracharat contested the March 24 election on a platform of electing retired General Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister, five years after he seized power as army chief in 2014.

Puttipong Punnakanta, one of Palang Pracharat’s board members and members of parliament, told Reuters that the party – which gained the second-largest number of seats in the election – would formally invite two other medium-sized parties to join in a coalition government.

“We will invite the two parties tomorrow. It’s certain that we will be forming a coalition government, with at least 251 seats and more,” he said.

(Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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