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Coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha takes office as Thai PM

IANS  |  Bangkok 

on Tuesday took office as the of in a ceremony at the government headquarters, opening a new phase in the country after five years of a military

Prayuth was elected in a vote in Parliament on June 5, but his appointment became official on Tuesday after Maha Vajiralongkorn's approval was published in the Royal Gazette, the country's official bulletin.

During the swearing-in, 65-year-old Prayuth, dressed in a formal white uniform, knelt before a portrait of Maha Vajiralongkorn, who was not present, news reported.

"I affirm that I will dedicate myself to public service with honesty and integrity in pursuit of the greater good of the country and the people of Thailand," the said at a press conference after the event, in which he expressed gratitude to the monarch and promised to fight against corruption and inequality.

"I will listen to the voices of the people while fulfilling my duty to move forward and develop the country in all economic and social aspects," Prayuth added.

Prayuth was the when he seized power in a coup in May 2014 after months of anti-government protests that had hampered the holding of elections that year.

A man with an abrasive manner and an ultra-monarchist, he has silenced any form of dissent and pushed back the holding of elections several times.

The general did not contest the elections, held on March 24, but was named the prime-ministerial candidate by the pro-Palang Pracharat party, which won the popular vote but not the most seats.

Prayuth was earlier appointed the with 500 votes from a large coalition of parties and all the senators - handpicked by the military - in a special joint session of the and lower house.

The incumbent prevailed by 500-244 over Thanathorn Juangroongruankrit, a political newcomer, who was backed by a coalition of anti-junta parties.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, June 11 2019. 17:14 IST