Thailand's parliament votes in pro-army house speaker

A military-aligned candidate has won majority support to become Thailand's house speaker in the first working session of the country's new House of Representatives, signaling further army dominance in the next government.

Former Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai was named speaker on Saturday after the session voted in favor of his nomination against another candidate backed by more liberal parties.

The military-backed Palang Pracharath party is tipped to lead a government expected to be formed in the next few weeks and headed by the junta leader, Prayuth Chan-ocha, who staged a coup five years ago and has served as prime minister since then.

The 80-year-old Chuan was nominated to become speaker by a member of Palang Pracharath and his successful appointment further cements Prayuth's chances of becoming prime minister again.