BANGKOK (AFP): Thailand’s government survived a no-confidence vote in parliament today after a bitter five-day debate in which it faced allegations of corruption and economic mismanagement. The majority of the six-party coalition led by the Democrat Party of Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai held rock-steady in the vote in the lower House of Representatives. A total of 229 members supported the government while 125 voted with the opposition. Thirteen members abstained and 10 members were absent. Chuan’s government has pushed through a raft of economic reforms mandated by a 17.2 billion dollar International Monetary Fund bailout granted after Thailand slipped into a financial crisis in 1997 under a government led by the current opposition leader Chavalit Yongchaiyudh. The prime minister must call a general election by November 2000 but has repeatedly said he will not wait that long. The government has a majority of 89 seats in the 393-member house. Sixteen seats are currently vacant due to the deaths or retirements of MPs.
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