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No surprises as NLA backs Army chief to become 29th premier

THE NATIONAL Legislative Assembly yesterday voted unanimously for junta chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha to be the 29th prime minister of Thailand. He was the sole candidate for the job. Prayuth was widely tipped to become the next prime minister after staging the coup in May.

Prior to the assembly meeting, the only questions that remained were whether he would win unanimous approval or whether there would be other candidates.

Of the 197 NLA members, 191 voted for Prayuth while NLA president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai and assembly vice presidents Surachai Liengboonlertchai and Peerasak Porchit abstained. Three members were reportedly on sick leave.

Prayuth did not attend the meeting as he was not required to, and did not need to reveal his vision for the country.

Instead, he attended a ceremony commemorating the 64th anniversary at the 21st Infantry Regiment of the Queen's Guard in Chon Buri province.

An army of journalists arrived at Parliament early yesterday morning and there were a large number of security officers.



Before the meeting started, NLA members lined up for a group photo at 9am in a noticeably lively atmosphere, as members had got to know one other better through previous meetings.



Voting began at around 10 am, with Pornpetch detailing the voting procedures.



NLA member Tuang Antachai nominated Prayuth for the prime minister's post, and the military-dominated assembly rushed to raise their hands to approve the proposal.



Pornpetch had to remind them that they still had to indicate their support on the electronic voting system.



The voting process went smoothly as members seemed to have collectively made up their mind.



The assembly president said he expected to submit Prayuth's name as the new prime minister to His Majesty the King for royal endorsement later yesterday.






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