Thailand's Democrat Party, former coalition parties to form new gov't
Members of five political parties and one faction, including Democrat Party's secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban (C), join hands after forming a new coalition which hopes to create Thailand's next government, after a news conference in Bangkok December 6, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Thailand's former opposition Democrat Party and four former coalition parties announced on Saturday that they would form a coalition government which hold at least 250 MPs.
At a press conference in Bangkok in the evening, Democrat Party secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban announced the formation of a new coalition. Also present were representatives from the former Chart Thai and Matchima Tipataya, both just recently disbanded, Ruamjai Thai Chart Pattana, Puea Pandin and the "Friends of Newin" faction, a defector group from the former ruling People Power Party (PPP).
Democrat Party's secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban (C) leads a news conference in Bangkok with members of five political parties and one faction, after forming a new coalition which hopes to create Thailand's next government on December 6, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Sanan Kachornprasart, who was former leader of the Chart Thai, said the coalition of the defunct PPP could not run the country so the Chart Thai decided to switch side for the sake of the country.
Sanan said the Chart Thai listened to the call from all walks of life for former partners of the PPP to switch side to tackle the divisiveness among Thais and to tackle the economic crisis.
Members of five political parties and one faction join hands after forming a new coalition which hopes to create Thailand's next government, during a press conference in Bangkok on December 6, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
The PPP, Chart Thai and Matchima Tipataya parties, all in the former six-party coalition government led by the PPP since its first formation in February, were altogether disbanded on electoral fraud charges by the Constitution Court on last Tuesday. All executives of the three disbanded parties were banned from electoral process for five years as punishment. Somchai Wongsawat, as PPP's acting leader, was disqualified as prime minister immediately.
A new PM must be elected in a special parliamentary session expected early next week to form a new government.
The 480-seat House of Representatives has 441 active MPs after some executives MP of three disbanded parties were disqualified. The non-executives MPs have 60 days after the party disbandment to switch to another party in order to stay in post.
Among the 441, 213 are from the now defunct PPP. The Democrat Party, formerly the only opposition party in the House, has 164 seats. The laws require that a party or coalition of parties must enjoy a simple majority of the House seats to form a government.
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