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Published: Wednesday May 7, 2014 MYT 4:45:43 PM
Updated: Wednesday May 7, 2014 MYT 4:47:03 PM

Thai Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong to be new prime minister

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan is to be Thailand's prime minister in place of Yingluck Shinawatra, who was forced to step down by the Constitutional Court on Wednesday along with several ministers after being found guilty of violating the constitution.

"The cabinet has decided that Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan will carry out duties in place of Prime Minister Yingluck," Justice Minister Pongthep Thepkanjana told a news conference.

Thailand has had an acting government since Yingluck dissolved the lower house of parliament in December in a failed attempt to defuse anti-government protests. That election was disrupted and then annulled. A new election is planned for July 20.

(Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Alan Raybould and Robert Birsel)

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