After a royal ceremony to accept premiership endorsement from
the King of Thailand, newly elected Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej
said on Tuesday that he will be loyal to the royalty and try his
best to serve the country.
The address is Samak's first speech before television lens which
is live-aired nationwide after his winning on Monday's parliament
voting on premiership.
In the speech, Samak, the 25th prime minister of
Thailand, said he has a political life of more than 40 years, from
a provincial politician to a senator and then the top post of the
political administration of the country – the Prime Minister.
He said he will try his best to serve the country as the
previous 24 premiers. "I am a politician volunteered to serve and
restore normalcy after turbulent time."
He asked every Thai citizen to give him a chance to demonstrate
"If my predecessor, who is a military expert, can lead the
country for 16 months without any fault, I, a career politician,
should be given the opportunity to steer the country as I know and
have in-depth understanding of politics in order to set things
right," he said, referring to the coup-appointed Surayud Chulanont
Moreover, like all Thais, the monarchy is recognized as the
revered institution binding the country together, he said, pledging
his undying loyalty and those of his coalition allies.
Samak said his People Power Party could win the general election
by 233 seats of the Parliament showed that many people believe him
and also "that man" – a periphrase of the former Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted during a 2006 military coup.
The 72-year-old former Bangkok Governor said he believes "that
man is also loyal to the royalty."
He said it pained him to see Thaksin being smeared as unroyalist
and that he wanted to set the record straight for Thaksin.
During the royal ceremony, Samak was officially appointed by a
royal command as the new Prime Minister. The royal command, which
was countersigned by Parliament President Yongyuth Tiyapairat, was
read to him at Samak's house in Bangkok.
Earlier, Samak said he will go at the Cabinet lineup immediately
after the appointment. But local media said most cabinet posts have
already been decided. Samak is reportedly to take the important
Defense Minister post by himself since the post has the right to
reshuffle the high level military officials.
Meanwhile, leader of the Chart Thai Party – the third big party
in parliament, said on Tuesday that it expects to receive five
Cabinet seats, including the agriculture portfolio.
Banharn Silapaarcha, Chart Thai Party leader, said "I believe
the Cabinet lineup will complete within this week and Chart Thai
will leave it up to People Power Party to allocate seats." But he
said five posts are the best for the party.
Although Banharn did not elaborate who will take up the five
posts, but the party's deputy leader, Sanan Kachornprasart, was the
first to reserve an office at the Government House although the
lineup has not yet been announced.
Sanan's aide Akapol Sorasuchart on Tuesday went to the PM's
Office, where officials were preparing nine rooms for new deputy
prime ministers and PM's Office ministers.
Akapol reportedly told the officials that Sanan – who is tipped
for a deputy premier post – would take the unit, which is the
biggest, on the second floor of the main building.
(Xinhua News Agency January 30, 2008)