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Thai election

Thailand's Pheu Thai forms new coalition with third-largest party

New grouping says no to lese-majeste reform and Move Forward

Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew, second from right, and Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul, center, pose for photos at a press conference in Bangkok on Aug. 7. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

BANGKOK -- Thailand's Pheu Thai Party has joined hands with the conservative Bhumjaithai, the third-largest party in the country's lower house, to form a new government after it split from the progressive Move Forward Party.

Pheu Thai came second to Move Forward in the May 14 general election, when voters delivered a victory to the two parties that had formed the opposition to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's military-linked government. In a move criticized by pro-democracy groups, Pheu Thai left its coalition with Move Forward and six other parties last week as legal and conservative obstacles mounted.

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