Bangkok, Thailand — Thailand's new prime minister is its old one: Prem Tinsulanonda. A royal command from King Bhumiphol April 30 reappointed Prime Minister Prem for another term only four days after the retired general announced his resignation from politics.
With the military and all but seven of Parliament's 324 members supporting General Prem, there appeared to be no other candidate, writes Monitor contributor Neil Kelly. The Chart Thai Party, the largest group in the new Parliament, had claimed it should choose the prime minister. But objections from the Army, which was put on full alert for a few hours in Bangkok in response to the Chart Thai claim, convinced Prem that he was needed to prevent political chaos.