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Mar 15, 4:24 AM EDT

Thai billionaire registers new progressive political party

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AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

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BANGKOK (AP) -- Thailand's slow move from military to civilian governance has attracted dozens of new political parties to register in barely two weeks, including one by an internet-famous billionaire who says he embraces democracy and wants to challenge the country's traditional powers.

Anakot Mai, or the Future Forward Party, was registered Thursday under the name it received just this week after "Help Thanathorn name his party" trended among Thai Twitter users. A Facebook live interview with party co-founder Thananthorn Juangroongruangkit had over 100,000 views and prompted warnings he was being watched by the ruling junta.

Thailand's military seized power in 2014, and allowing political parties to register is a step toward long-delayed elections, now promised by next February.

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