6:15AM Wednesday January 30, 2008
Thailand's king officially endorsed a pugnacious ally of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as the country's new leader yesterday, paving the way for the return of a democratically elected Government after a 2006 military coup.
Samak Sundaravej, head of the People's Power Party, was elected Prime Minister by politicians on Monday - a choice that could put the new Government on a collision course with the generals who toppled Thaksin for alleged corruption and abuse of power.
"The King has endorsed Samak's premiership,"PPP spokesman Kuthep Saikrajang said.
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, requiring King Bhumibol Adulyadej to officially endorse the Prime Minister and Cabinet before they take up their posts.