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Thai election turns into 3-way race as Thaksin camp stirs

Ex-premier's party picks leader to face pro-junta group and moderates

Viroj Pao-in, middle, was elected as Pheu Thai Party leader on October.28 at a party meeting in Bangkok.(Photo by Akira Kodaka)

BANGKOK -- Political activity is stirring again in Thailand as parties prepare for a general election shaping up to be a three-sided contest that will determine to what extent the ruling military junta retains influence after a return to democracy.

The Pheu Thai Party, which consists of supporters of ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who now lives in exile, selected a new leader on Oct. 28. Acting leader Viroj Pao-in will officially head the party during a general election seen coming next year.

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