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December 12, 2008

Thailand Political Stalemate:
Lower House set to vote on new premier

Thailand's House of Representatives will convene a special session Monday to elect a new prime minister, Kyodo news agency quoted an official as saying Thursday.

Democrat Party whip Sathit Wongnongteoy told reporters King Bhumibol Adulyadej already approved the request to open the special session to elect a new prime minister at 9:30am Monday.

The opposition Democrats submitted a petition via House Speaker Chai Chidchob earlier this week after it got enough support from lawmakers to form the government and also support for party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva to be elected prime minister.

The secretary general of the party, Suthep Thuagsuban, again insisted that around 260 lawmakers from the Democrat Party, four small parties and a faction of the former People Power Party will nominate Abhisit.

Meanwhile, the Puea Thai Party, replacement for the People Power Party that was dissolved last week, urged lawmakers to join in re-forming the coalition government.

The Constitution requires a new premier to have the support of more than half the lower house members.

The House of Representatives now has 438 active members.

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