Thailand's new Prime Minister is to be Mr. Seni Pramoj, 69-year-old leader of the moderate?
GV Crowds with banner outside Bangkok Assembly
GV Cars entering gates
GV Demonstrators with placards
GV Crowd at rally outside
GTV Members seated in hall PAN TO speaker
GTV Delegates voting (2 shots)
TV Votes being counted
SV Speaker declares result and members applaud
GV Demonstrators surging towards National Assembly building (2 shots)
SV Newly elected Premier talking to newsmen (2 shots)
SV Premier cheered and chaired from Assembly building (2 shots)
TGV Crowd running after Premier's car (3 shots)
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Background: Thailand's new Prime Minister is to be Mr. Seni Pramoj, 69-year-old leader of the moderate Democrat Party. He was elected in an open vote in the Thai National Assembly on Thursday (13 February) receiving 81 votes more than his rival candidate.
But the voting left the Democrat leader just two votes short of an absolute majority in the 269-seat assembly. Mr. Seni won 133 votes, to the polled by Mr. Chatichai Choonhavan, Secretary-General of the conservative Chart Thai Party.
The Premier-elect now has to form his coalition government. This will be primarily between his Democrats, the largest party returned in the January 26 General Elections, and the Social Agrarian Party. Though there is still the possibility of other groups backing Mr. Seni.
Before leaving to a tumultuous reception from supporters outside the Assembly building, Mr. Seni told newsmen he had already drafted his policies. He has said he will continue Thailand's efforts to establish direct contact with North Vietnam and improve relations with China. No change is expected in the country's gradual reduction of the United States' military presence in Thailand.