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Thailand's New PM vows to serve country at full steam
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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 his leadership.


"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 government.


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)

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