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Post-coup lower house to elect premier Monday


January 25, 2008

Post-coup lower house to elect premier Monday
Thailand's post-coup lower house will convene a session Monday to elect a prime minister, newly elected Speaker of the House of Representatives Yongyut Tiyapairat was quoted by Kyodo news agency as telling on Thursday.

Yongyut spoke to reporters only after receiving the royal command officially endorsing his nomination as leader of the legislative branch.

He added he had not wanted to be seen as "precipitately" calling for a session to elect the prime minister.

Yongyut was elected Tuesday by the House of Representatives, but the endorsement by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the constitutional monarch, did not come until Thursday afternoon.

The coalition led by the People Power Party, made up mostly of members loyal to ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, had hoped to elect a prime minister Friday.

PPP leader Samak Sundaravej is expected to win that post. Thaksin was ousted in a bloodless coup in September 2006 and a junta, followed by a junta-appointed Cabinet, ran the country until the general election last month.

Courtesy Kyodo

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