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Turbulent Thailand

Thailand's PM faces bigger threat than protests: coalition rifts

Fragile 19-party alliance exposed by censure motion and court ruling against ministers

BANGKOK -- A local by-election on March 7 has risen in political significance because of simmering tensions that have surfaced within Thailand's coalition government, confronting Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha with new rifts in his 19-party alliance.

The Democrat Party -- the country's oldest party and a junior partner in the coalition -- is openly feuding with the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), the pro-military senior partner, for fielding a candidate to contest in the southern Nakhon Si Thammarat province constituency that has traditionally been a Democrat stronghold.

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