Thaksin's brother-in-law Somchai picked as PM

Thailand's ruling People Power Party (PPP) has nominated Thaksin relative Somchai Wongsawat for prime minister, to replace Samak Sundaravej who was removed by national courts last week. The decision has yet to be ratified by the parliament.


The leaders of Thailand's ruling party have backed Somchai Wongsawat, brother-in-law of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, as its candidate for prime minister, a spokesman said Monday.

The decision will be presented to parliamentarians from the People Power Party (PPP) for approval at a meeting expected to start at 2:00 pm (0700 GMT), spokesman Kudeb Saikrajang said.

"The executive committee has unanimously agreed to select Somchai, who is the acting prime minister, as the candidate for prime minister. He is a suitable candidate for this situation," he told reporters.

Selecting Somchai, who is married to Thaksin's sister, will likely inflame anti-government protesters led by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) who seized the prime minister's offices last month.

The PPP was forced to find a successor to fallen premier Samak Sundaravej after his bid to return to power last week was torpedoed by a party revolt.

Samak was stripped of office earlier last week by a court that found he had illegally accepted payments for hosting TV cooking shows.

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