Samak Sundaravej

Samak Sundaravej

(sä`mäk so͞ontärəwā`), 1935–2009, Thai political leader, prime minister of Thailand (2008), b. Bangkok. He earned a law degree from Thammasat Univ., Bangkok, then worked as a journalist, and continued to work in the media after entering politics, at times running a newspaper and hosting radio and televsion talk shows. In 1968 Samak joined the Democrat party; he first won a seat in parliament in 1973. He sometimes advocated extreme anti-Communist positions, and in the mid-1970s he denounced prodemocracy student activists. A deadly crackdown against the students in 1976 was followed by a coup and a military-appointed government, in which Samak served briefly as interior minister. He founded the Thai Citizen Party in 1979, leading it until 2000, and held other cabinet positions, including several terms as deputy prime minister. From 2000 to 2004 he was governor of Bangkok, and in 2006 he was elected to the senate, but in Sept., 2006, the military seized power and overthrew Prime Minister Thaksin ShinawatraThaksin Shinawatra
, 1949–, Thai business executive and political leader, b. Chiang Mai. Born into a wealthy merchant family, he went into the Thai police service in 1973 and continued his criminal-justice education in the United States.
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. The outspoken Samak was convicted several times of defamation, but received suspended sentences until his 2007 conviction, which he appealed. Samak became the leader of the People Power party (PPP) in 2007 and aligned himself with the ousted prime minister. The PPP won the Dec., 2007, elections, and Samak subsequently became prime minister of a six-party coaltion government. In Sept., 2008, however, he was dismissed from office by the Constitutional Court for conflict-of-interest violations arising from his hosting of a television cooking show, and he subsequently resigned as PPP leader. Somchai Wongsawat, a former judge and Thaksin's brother-in-law, succeeded him as prime minister.
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Kaewprasit's royalist movement, Pitak Siam - Protect Thailand - is linked to the popular Yellow Shirt movement that toppled the government of Shinawatra's brother, Thaksin, in a military coup in 2006, and that of his successor, Samak Sundaravej, in 2008.
Former Thai prime minister Samak Sundaravej, who ruled the country for eight months last year at the height of anti-government protests, has died of liver cancer aged 74.
Meanwhile, Thailand's National Anti-Corruption Commission on Tuesday accused former Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and former Foreign Minister Noppadon Patama of violating the Constitution when Samak's Cabinet agreed to sign a joint communique supporting Cambodia's bid to register the Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site.
Samak Sundaravej was forced from office in September when a court ruled that he had violated Thailand's Constitution by accepting payment for his appearances on TV cooking shows.
This month, however, an army of protestors, mostly middleclass and royalist, took to the streets of Bangkok to bring down their popularly elected prime minister, Samak Sundaravej. They occupied government buildings and eventually forced Samak to resign--although the official, deliciously trumped-up reason was that he took money for hosting a TV cooking show.
Mr Somchai was a deputy prime minister and education minister in the Cabinet of Samak Sundaravej, who was forced to resign last week for violating a conflict-of-interest law by appearing on a cooking programme.
Samak Sundaravej decided Friday to pull out of the upcoming parliamentary election to choose a new prime minister, his close aide said.
Thailand's acting prime minister lifted the state of emergency in Bangkok yesterday as the ruling party met to choose a new candidate for premier.Somchai Wongsawat said tensions had eased in Bangkok since the emergency was imposed two weeks ago after pro- and anti-government protesters clashed in violence that left one person dead and dozens injured."We have analysed that the situation is less serious and if we still maintain the state of emergency, it might damage the country," acting premier Somchai said.Thousands of protesters have besieged the grounds of Government House in the capital since last month to try to force the resignation of then prime minister Samak Sundaravej and his cabinet.
Embattled Thai prime minister and sometime TV chef Samak Sundaravej is really feeling the heat now.
Samak Sundaravej said he wasn't paid, merely reimbursed for the ingredients and his travel costs.
A court ruled that Samak Sundaravej had broken a conflict-of-interest law.
Following a week of unrest, Thai PrimeMinister Samak Sundaravej declared a state of emergency in Bangkok after clashes between police and anti-government protesters erupted in more violence.