Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thai PM survives no-confidence vote

BANGKOK, November 28, 2012

Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra comfortably survived a no-confidence vote in parliament on Wednesday following a heated debate on the government's rice-pledging scheme and flood management budget.

Wednesday's vote came after a three-day censure debate, and four days after a demonstration by thousands of protesters who called for the overthrow of the government, citing corruption as one of the reasons.

The opposition was outnumbered in parliament, however, and lawmakers voted 308 to 159 to keep Yingluck in power. One deputy premier and other two ministers also comfortably survived no-confidence votes.

Yingluck won a landslide election victory last year, and has led Thailand through one of its longest peaceful periods in recent years. The country has suffered bouts of political instability since a 2006 coup ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck's brother.

The opposition Democrat Party blamed Yingluck for putting Thailand at risk of losing its spot as the world's top rice exporter and for alleged widespread corruption in the rice-pledging programme, in which the government paid farmers at prices higher than market prices.
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