Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s party is on course to win Bangkok’s governor election for the first time, dealing a blow to opponents aligned with royalist groups who have held the capital since 2004.
As Thailand nears a showdown over the fate of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the exiled tycoon’s sister is banking on the army’s neutrality to avoid a repeat of 2008 protests that led to the ouster of a government.
Yingluck Shinawatra, set to become Thailand’s first female prime minister, announced the formation of a five-party coalition to broaden the mandate she won in elections and head off concerns that violence might erupt over the fate of her exiled brother, ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
A Thai group began a public campaign to change a law protecting King Bhumibol Adulyadej from criticism amid a rising number of cases, resisting pressure from the military and royalist groups to avoid discussing the topic.
The death toll in Thailand’s worst floods in five decades rose to 244 and threatened to disrupt operations of automobile and electronics makers that use the Southeast Asian country as a production base.