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Cambodia Welcomes Newly Elected Thai Government

Political novice Yingluck Shinawatra says she has formed a coalition with four smaller parties, boosting her majority in parliament a day after being elected Thailand's first female prime minister.

The Foreign Ministry on Monday issued congratulations to Pheu Thai party of Thailand, after it won an overwhelming victory in elections Sunday.

Foreign Minister Hor Namhong welcomed the party and its leader, Yingluck Shinawatra, who is the sister of Thaksin Shinawatra, the populist prime minister ousted in a 2006 coup.

Yingluck is likely to be named the country’s next prime minister.

“We hope that a new government formed by the Pheu Thai party will solve the border dispute with Cambodia more positively and more peacefully than the previous democratic government did,” he said. “What we want is a peaceful border dispute resolution.”

However, Son Chhay, a lawmaker for the Cambodian opposition Sam Rainsy Party, said the new Thai government would find it difficult to resolve the border dispute without international help.

The dispute, over a contested patch of land near Preah Vihear temple, has created a military standoff leading to a number of deadly skirmishes since 2008. Last month, Thailand withdrew from Unesco’s World Heritage convention over a Cambodian proposal to manage the 11th-Century temple.

“We believe the border dispute will have its tension reduced” by the election, Son Chhay said. “But the solution will require the participation of the international community.”

In a separate statement, the Sam Rainsy Party welcomed the results of Sunday’s election, calling it a good example of fair elections for Cambodia.