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Thai party ousted in 2014 coup picks Thaksin loyalist for PM in elections

Thailand’s Pheu Thai Party, which was ousted from power by the military in a 2014 coup, on Thursday picked a close ally of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra as its main candidate for prime minister. The elections are scheduled for March 24. Pheu Thai’s Sudarat Keyuraphan could face off against current military junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha in the election. However, Prayuth has not yet said he will accept the nomination of a pro-military party that wants him on its ticket. Prayuth is expected to make a speech on Friday outlining the successes of the junta’s nearly five years in power. Veteran politician Sudarat, 57, is a longtime Thaksin ally who helped found his now-defunct Thai Rak Thai Party, a predecessor to Pheu Thai.