Thaksin-backed party forms 6-party coalition govt

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Bangkok, Jan 19: Thailand's People Power Party (PPP), backed by ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, unveiled a coalition government today by winning the support of five small allies.

People Power party (PPP) leader Samak Sundaravej held a press conference here this afternoon to officially announce a six-party coalition government emerging after December 23 general elections. The coalition has 315 members of parliament. ''This coalition helps break a political deadlock. Our combined 315 seats should create a fairly strong government,'' the Bangkok Post quoted Mr Samak as saying.

Under the coalition the PPP-led government would control about two thirds of the 480 seats in parliament, he said.

Mr Samak, 72, refused to say if he would become the next prime minister, although he now appears to be a top contender.

On the other hand, PPP officials say, parliament is expected to hold a special session next Friday to choose Mr Samak as prime minister.

''The country has gone through enough of a crisis and has wasted a lot of time. It's time we set forth to tackle problems,'' Mr Samak said.

The Supreme Court yesterday absolved PPP of vote fraud in the election last month. It also rejected a suit seeking to annul the poll on the grounds of irregularities in early voting.


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