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Pita Limjaroenrat, leader of Thailand's Move Forward Party, reacts after failing to win parliamentary support to become prime minister.

REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Political trouble brews in the Land of Smiles

Late on Thursday, the Thai parliament rejected opposition leader Pita Limjaroenrat's bid to become the country’s next prime minister. Pita, whose progressive Move Forward Party won the May 14 election, was 51 votes shy of the supermajority needed to clinch the premiership. (For more on that, read our explainer here.)

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Thailand's former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

Not now, Thaksin!

We recently predicted that the shadow of self-exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra would loom large over the May 14 Thai election. Now the stakes just got a lot higher.

On Tuesday, Thaksin announced that he plans to return before his 74th birthday in July, almost 15 years after he skipped town when he was about to go on trial for corruption. Thaksin, ousted in a 2006 coup, was ultimately convicted in absentia of several charges that add up to over a decade in prison.

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