Thailand's Democrats to vote to join coup leader's coalition

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s current prime minister, who took power in a military coup five years ago, appears set to win a parliamentary vote Wednesday that will give him a second term in office.

The Democrat Party, the country’s oldest, announced Tuesday that it will vote to join a coalition government led by Prayuth Chan-ocha, candidate of the military-backed Palang Pracharath party.

Prayuth’s election as prime minister was virtually assured even before the Democrats’ decision, because the position requires a simple majority of a joint vote by the 500-seat House of Representatives and the 250-seat Senate, whose members were appointed by the junta headed by Prayuth.

Palang Pracharath has enough allies to make Prayuth the prime minister. The Democrats’ support makes it likely they will also have a majority in the lower house.