( dpa ) - The head of Thailand's biggest political party announced the formation of a coalition government Saturday that would lead the country "out of crisis."
Samak Sundaravej, a controversial politician said his six-party coalition would hold at least 315 out 480 seats in Parliament.
"We can move ahead. This will be a strong, capable government," he told a packed press conference.
Parliament formally opens Monday but the makeup of the new government will not be known until several days of tough negotiations over cabinet posts have been completed. Samak refused to confirm that he would be prime minister - although he hinted that this was likely.
Samak's People Power Party, which won 233 seats in the December 23rd election, is widely regarded as a proxy for the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was deposed in a September 2006 coup. The PPP will lose a handful of seats because some winners are being banned for cheating by an election commission.
Thaksin, speaking from exile last week, said Samak had his support as prime minister.
The military junta and its allies, who loathe the allegedly corrupt and power greedy former telecommunications tycoon, had failed to push forward an alternative political force to outflank Thaksin's can-do manner and populist policies. The caretaker government appointed by the junta also performed poorly.
Analysts reckon there may be an uneasy time ahead for Thailand if an uninspired cabinet of political hacks stumbles and if the division in Thai society continues to fester.
The formation of the government was briefly delayed by legal challenges against the legality of the PPP and the correctness of the election by two maverick MPs. The Supreme Court threw out the suits on Friday.
The five parties joining PPP in the first post-coup civilian administration are Chart Thai, Puea Pandin, Matchimathipataya, Ruam Jai Thai Chart Pattana and Pracharaj. The sole opposition will be the Democrat party that won 165 seats in the election and appears to be gearing up to exploit any failings by the new government.
Thaksin himself is still prowling the international stage preparing for the time when he thinks it is safe to return. The junta sponsored a series of investigations and legal actions in his allegedly corrupt activities and conflicts of interest.
The leaders of the junior parties in the coalition, including battered political veterans Sanan Kajornprasart and Sanoh Thienthong stressed the PPP's "right" to form a coalition since it had scooped the most seats in the election.
The Puea Paendin leader Suwit Khunkitti said "Somebody has to govern and the electoral system has chosen the PPP. We are happy to join with them in doing our duty."