General Prayuth Chan-o-cha (File pic)
By Linda Khoo
BANGKOK, June 11 (Bernama) -- General Prayuth Chan o-cha who was today sworn in as Thailand’s 29th Prime Minister, vowed to “eradicate corruption, reduce inequality, elevate the welfare of the people and ensure transparent government spending”.
Prayuth was royally endorsed as prime minister in a simple ceremony at the Government House in Bangkok today.
During the ceremony which was televised live, Prayuth vowed to a portrait of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
In his speech in Thai that was broadcast by the national TV stations, Prayuth affirmed that he would dedicate himself to public service with honesty and integrity for the kingdom and its people.
“I will listen to the voice of the people while fulfilling my duty to move forward and develop the country in all aspects including eradicating corruption, reducing inequality and elevating the welfare of the people, especially those in the agricultural and commercial sectors through effective and transparent government spending.
“I will improve the capability of our human resources and provide opportunities for the younger generation to participate in national development.
“I will also promote a peaceful environment for a unified society based on love, unity and compassion. I will safeguard the dignity of the institutions of state, religion and the monarchy which are cherished by the people of Thailand,” he said after the royal endorsement ceremony, here, today.
Present at the ceremony were leaders and representatives of the coalition parties led by the pro-junta Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP). However, Democrat Party leader, Jurin Laksanavisit was absent.
On June 5, Prayuth was voted as prime minister, five years after he seized power in a 2014 military coup.
Prayuth, PPRP’s sole prime minister candidate secured 500 votes, beating his contender from the seven-party democratic front’s Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit who received 244 votes.
The win came as no surprise for Thais as the former general has benefited from the 250-seat Senate whose members were appointed by the junta.
The PPRP-led coalition holds a slim majority in the 500-seat House of Representatives. The democratic front, led by Pheu Thai and its six allies has 246 seats.
Speaking to reporters, Prayuth pledged that he would carry out his duty to the best of his ability with all members of Parliament and cabinet ministers.
He said the new cabinet would be formed soon.
“There will be discussions.... I hope things will be sorted out soon,” he added.
Local media have reported that the coalition parties are in negotiation over cabinet positions.