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Three big parties ready to form new Thai coalition

Thailand's three main political parties appeared ready to form a coalition government after a snap general election returned another fragmented Parliament open to Army influence.

Official returns showed all three parties substantially increased their share of the vote but none had won a majority. Politicians said they were certain to see a new coalition of the partners in the old government, the Social Action, Thai Nation, and Democratic Parties. The election outcome seemed sure to please the Thai Army, which had urged Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanond to move the voting up two months ahead of schedule to prevent the bigger parties from consolidating their power.

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