Thai Dictatorship Swears In A Civilian Premier
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
BANGKOK, Thailand — Thailand’s military dictatorship swore in a retired general yesterday as its civilian prime minister, fulfilling a pledge to hand over power but retaining the right to sack him.
In a ceremony replete with symbolism, General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, who led a coup d’etat 10 days ago, read out a royal order appointing Surayud Chulanont, 63, as the new head of government. General Surayud prostrated himself before a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej before shaking hands with the five members of the junta, now renamed the Council for National Security.
When they took power, General Sonthi said they would be “gone” within two weeks. But, under an interim constitution proclaimed yesterday, the council will retain a powerful political role.