Vote begins on new Thai PM

MPs expected to elect Somchai Wongsawat but opposition says protests will go on.

    Somchai is brother in law of deposed PM Thaksin Shinawatra [EPA]

    However, a day of intense political bargaining saw most of those MPs agree to back Somchai as the party's nominee.

    Somchai was named as Thailand's caretaker prime minister last week, after Samak was forced to stand down over his hosting of a cooking show while in office.

    In Focus


    Timeline: Thailand's crisis
    Profile: Who are the PAD?

    Somchai had earlier said that dissolution of the Thai parliament and the calling of fresh elections was an option if the ruling party could not reach agreement.

    "I will do my best to resolve the ongoing problems," he told reporters in a Tuesday night news conference, flanked by representatives of the other five parties in the governing coalition.

    Nonetheless, Somchai remains firmly opposed by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) – a pressure group of royalists, businessmen and union activists – which has been leading weeks of sometimes bloody anti-government protests.

    The PAD, which is strongly opposed to Thaksin and anyone seen as associated with him, has vowed to continue with its protests if Somchai is made prime minister.

    PAD leaders say Thaksin, who recently fled into exile in the UK, bought his way to power and enriched himself at the country's expense.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.