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Turbulent Thailand

Thai ruling coalition fractures as Prayuth's party culls ranks

Palang Pracharath ousts secretary-general and allies after by-election losses

Thamanat Prompow, seen here in 2019 as deputy agriculture minister, was among the lawmakers expelled from the pro-military Palang Pracharath party.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- The largest party in Thailand's ruling coalition on Thursday announced the removal of its secretary-general and 20 other members, leaving Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's government on shakier political footing.

The pro-military Palang Pracharath party decided to expel Thamanat Prompow and his allies after it lost two by-elections Sunday in southern Thailand, for which some members placed blame on Thamanat. The move has stoked speculation about the possibility of a snap lower house election before lawmakers' terms end in March 2023.

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