Yingluck To Lead Thai Coalition; Military Accepts Poll Verdict

Bangkok, Jul 4: Thailand's powerful army, which had deposed former premier Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006 today accepted the spectacular victory of his sister's Pheu Thai Party at the hustings, even as Yingluck Shinawatra announced the
yingluck to lead thai coalition military accepts...
PTI July 04, 2011 21:20 IST

Bangkok, Jul 4: Thailand's powerful army, which had deposed former premier Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006 today accepted the spectacular victory of his sister's Pheu Thai Party at the hustings, even as Yingluck Shinawatra announced the formation of five party coalition government. 

Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwon said the army would accept a government led by 44-year-old Yingluck, set to become the country's first woman prime minister and vowed the military would not stage a coup. 

“I've said this several times,” Prawit was quoted as saying by the Thai media. “We are not going to intervene.”

The assurance by the military offers a new sense of stability in the country plagued by political uncertainty and puts at rest rumours of any coup attempt. 

Yingluck Shinawatra said her priority would be to put the nation on a path of national reconciliation, a day after The Pheu Thai party swept the national polls. It announced an accord with four other parties for a coalition. 

Yingluck, whose party has on itself won a majority of 265 seats in the 500-seat lower house of parliament, said the agreement would boost her coalition to a strength of 299 seats.

The Democrat Party, which has led a coalition government for more than than three years, will now sit in the opposition.

The other components in the coalition would be Chartthaipattana with 19 seats, Chart Thai Pattana Puea Pandin with and Palang Chon with seven each Mahachon with a single seat. The 299 MPs should be enough to ensure a solid majority, she said.

Earlier, the outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva resigned as leader of his Democrat Party today owning responsibility for the crushing defeat at the hands of the opposition.

“I have decided to resign because I could not lead my party to victory in the elections,” the suave Oxford-educated Abhisit said. Democrat Party members will now meet to select a new leader.

Abhisit, whose government was criticised heavily for a crackdown on pro-Thakshin Red Shirt protesters last year, had assumed office in 200 Meanwhile Yingluck said, Thailand's new government intends to reopen a corruption case against ousted premier Thakshin but no special favour would be granted to him.

The corruption case slapped in 2006 had forced Thakshin out of Thailand and the fugitive leader has continued to remain in self-imposed exile in Dubai to escape a two-year jail term awarded over the charges.

With a government led by his allies now back into power, Thakshin's supporters hope he could return.

In an interview to CNN following a thumping victory in the general election, Yingluck Shinawatra said authorities will reopen an investigation into her brother Thaksin's case though “rule of law” would be followed.

“I can't do anything special for my brother,” she said. The telegenic businesswoman-turned politician also said she has no plans to encourage her brother to return to Thailand to serve his sentence.

Yingluck said the most urgent task for her administration would be to forge a national reconciliation in a politically-divided country that witnessed violent clashes last year resulting in the 90 deaths. PTI

 
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