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Thai PM faces first opposition challenge as he sets out plans



Thai PM faces first opposition challenge as he sets out plans

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha faced opposition questions in parliament for the first time on Thursday as the former junta leader set out his government’s plans.

Prayuth took power in a 2014 coup, but has stayed on as prime minister after a general election in March held under a system that opposition parties say was engineered to ensure the military kept its hands on power.

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Prayuth, who as junta leader developed a reputation for being dismissive of anyone who disagreed with him, greeted lawmakers by saying I always missed you all.

As soon as Prayuth started his introduction, he was challenged by a member of the opposition Pheu Thai party to stick to the 66-page policy document and not to offer extra comment.

The most senior figures in the new government are all members of the former junta, but Prayuth needed to build a coalition with 19 other parties to ensure a small majority in the lower house of parliament over those who oppose him.

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