ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
January 22, 2008
Thailand moved a step closer to having an elected government on Monday when the lower house holds its first post-election session after the September 2006 coup.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej signed a royal decree on Sunday inaugurating the first parliamentary session after the December 23 general election.
HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn presided over the opening ceremony at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall of Dusit Palace at 4.30 pm.
The People Power Party (PPP) - which landed a victory in the general election -and five smaller political parties including the Chart Thai, Puea Pandin, Ruam Jai Thai Chart Pattana, Pracharaj and Matchimatipataya parties,which commands about two-thirds of the 480-seat lower house, will jointly form a coalition government.
The Democrat Party, which placed second in the general election with 165 seats, solely represents the opposition bloc in the House of Representatives, as all other parties have joined the coalition.
The lawmakers are expected to nominate House Speaker on Tuesday with PPP MP Yongyuth Tiyapairat strongly tipped for the post.
The Democrat Party, despite having a zero chance to win the House speaker seat, will field two veteran Democrats, Banyat Banthatthan and Khunying Kalaya Sophonpanich, to vie for the positions of House Speaker and deputy House Speaker respectively.