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┬áPalang 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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