Bangkok — Thailand’s junta chief Prayut Chan-o-cha was elected late Wednesday as the kingdom’s first civilian prime minister since the 2014 coup he led, in a vote by a parliament stacked with appointed allies of the conservative, arch-royalist army.

Prayut swept aside his sole challenger, the charismatic billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit who led the anti-military bloc, comfortably passing the 375-vote threshold to win a majority, with scores of votes still to be counted.

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