11 small Thai parties support army-backed candidate for PM

Eleven small political parties in Thailand have announced they will support the military-backed candidate to form the next government, seven weeks after the country's first general election after five years of army rule.

Their announcement Monday came after no single party won an absolute majority in the March 24 polls. The military-backed Palang Pracharath party won 115 seats in the 500-member House of Representatives, while its rival, the Pheu Thai party associated with self-exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, won 136.

Palang Pracharath is seen as a proxy for the military, which seized power in a 2014 coup. Coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha has been prime minister in the military government, and is Palang Pracharath's candidate to remain in office as head of an elected government.