Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thailand's new parliament to open Monday: Palace

BANGKOK - THAILAND'S new parliament will formally open on Monday, the royal palace has said, paving the way for the selection of the prime minister as early as next week.

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will deliver a ceremonial inauguration speech on behalf of the king in the capital Bangkok on Monday afternoon, the palace said in a statement late on Wednesday.

The 500-seat lower house is due to start work on Wednesday with the election of a house speaker, followed by the selection of the premier on Friday, said a source from the Puea Thai party which won July 3 national elections.

The Puea Thai party's Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted in a 2006 coup, is expected to be appointed the nation's new premier in the parliamentary vote.

Ms Yingluck, who will be the first woman to ever take on the role, has formed a six-party coalition that will hold about three-fifths of the lower chamber's seats.

Late on Wednesday, the Election Commission said it had endorsed dozens of winning candidates from the national polls, bringing the total approved to 496 - passing the 95 per cent threshold needed by law for the house to convene. -- AFP


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