Thai PM Scrapes Through No-Confidence Vote

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Over the weekend, the Thai prime minister survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote. This ensures his Democrat Party will remain in office for the upcoming election in July against opposition Puea Thai Party.

On Saturday, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva narrowly survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote, ensuring his government remains in office in the run-up to what is likely a close election.

Abhisit was backed by 249 lawmakers, or 52 percent of the eligible house voters. There was four days of debate over the future of the Thai leader... marked by allegations of corruption, mismanagement and conflicts of interest leveled at him and nine of his ministers.

The number of votes against the Oxford-educated premier could reflect some dissatisfaction within his fractious six-party coalition, which his Democrat Party heads with a slim majority.

It's not seen as an indication of his public support ahead of a parliamentary election expected by July.

Analysts say the poll is expected to be a close race between Abhisit's Democrats and the opposition Puea Thai Party.

All nine ministers passed the no-confidence votes by narrow margins. The censure was conducted on a free-vote basis, meaning lawmakers may not all have voted along party lines.

The election comes at a critical time for Thailand, which is embroiled in a five-year political crisis characterized by violent demonstrations, lengthy blockades, disputed judicial rulings and military intervention.

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