According to Reuters, veteran Social Democratic leader, Mr. Seni Pramoj looks set to lead a?
According to Reuters, veteran Social Democratic leader, Mr. Seni Pramoj looks set to lead a new coalition government in thailand. At the weekend his brother, Mr. Kukrit Paramoj, the outgoing Prime Minister lost his seat in Thailand's second general election in 15 months.
Mr. Seni, 70, who has also been the country's Prime Minister for two brief terms, leads the country's biggest and oldest party, the conservative Social Democrats, who surpassed all expectations in Sunday's (4 April) poll.
The Democrats won 115 of the 279 seats in the National Assembly, compared with 72 in the previous general election.
Mr. Seni's younger brother, 64-year-old Mr. Kukrit, lost his seat even though his Social Action Party (S.A.P.) more than doubled its seats, gaining 45.
The conservative Chart Thai (Thai Nation) party also did well - winning 56 seats. It improved on its earlier strength which, with the S.A.P. formed the nucleus of the previous seven-party coalition.
Left-wing parties took a beating, netting only six seats -i compared to 37 in the previous assembly. Reuters say voters appeared to have opted in general for the status quo at ta time of uncertainty in domestic and foreign affairs.
Mr. Kukrit's defeat, against the tide of his party's improved showing, appeared to be the result of disapproval in his predominantly military and conservative constituency, of the government decision two weeks ago, to end the Untied States military presence in Thailand.
Mr. Kukrit, who led his coalition for 10 difficult months, indicated that he was thinking of quitting politics. However, he said that he was confident of the future of Thailand' democratic experiment, which began after a student-led uprising toppled a long entrenched military government in October 1973.
Meanwhile, Mr. Seni said that he will consider asking the United States forces to half their withdrawal and remain in Thailand. Questioned by newsmen whether he would ask the Americans to remain, Mr. Seni replied that he would have to consider the situation very carefully.
SYNOPSIS: Bangkok where, on Monday, the veteran Social ?Democratic Party leader, Mr. Seni Pramoj, looked set to lead a new coalition government. This followed the defeat of his brother, Mr. Kukrit Pramoj, the outgoing Prime Minister, who lost his seat in Sunday's general election, the second in 15 months.
The Democrats, the country's largest party, surpassed all expectations in the poll.
Mr. Kukrit - seen here casting his vote - said afterwards that he was considering quitting politics. His defeat, despite his own Social Action Party's success in the election, appeared the result of disapproval with his government's decision to end the United States military presence in Thailand.
Meanwhile Mr. Seni - nearest the camera - said that he will consider asking the United States to halt the withdrawal of their forces from Thailand. Questioned by newsmen whether he would ask the Americans to remain, Mr. Seni replied that he would have to consult very carefully with his colleagues. He said that he had not yet formed a government and that other views would have to be taken into consideration.