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Supporters attend the Pheu Thai Party campaign

Sipa USA

Thailand elects new prime minister as exiled leader comes home

Tuesday is a tumultuous day for Thai politics. Thailand’s parliament has elected a new prime minister, thanks to the Pheu Thai Party and pro-military parties – former foes – joining forces to block the Move Forward Party. This made room for billionaire ex-politician Thaksin Shinawatra to return home after 15 years in exile. Shinawatra ruled the Pheu Thai before he was ousted in a military-backed coup in 2006 and fled to Dubai. With the Pheu Thai and the military-backed parties having set aside their differences, a “super deal” between them has allowed for his return.

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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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Move Forward Party, Pheu Thai party, and coalition partner leaders sign an MOU in Bangkok, Thailand.

Vachira Vachira via Reuters Connect

Uncertain Thai premiership vote

On Monday, the Thai parliament will meet for the first time since the May 14 election to pick the next prime minister. Whoever gets the nod, some people won't be happy about it in a country with a checkered history of political turmoil: shaky governments, colorful protests, and military takeovers.

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