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Former Thai Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda Dies at 98

Prem Tinsulanonda, who as an army commander, prime minister and adviser to the royal palace was one of Thailand's most influential political figures over four decades, died Sunday at age 98. His death in a Bangkok hospital was announced by the government's Public Relations Department. Never married, he leaves no family survivors. Thai Princess Sirindhorn will preside over his initial Buddhist funeral rites on Monday. Prem was best known for his long-standing devotion to the monarchy, especially the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who appointed him to his Privy Council immediately after Prem's eight years as prime minister, and named him head of that powerful advisory body in 1998, a position he held until his death. Prem is credited by some scholars with establishing the unspoken primacy of the palace in Thailand's power structure, cementing a mutually beneficial alliance with the military. He was prime minister from 1980 to 1988, and helped usher in a period of relative stability after a successful pro-democracy uprising against a military dictatorship in 1973, a counter-revolution and coup in 1976 and another coup in 1977, as well as edginess about communist takeovers in neighboring Indochina in 1975. While most Thai army commanders came to the position through coups, Prem was elected constitutionally by parliamentary vote, though he never ran for office. As prime minister, he weathered two attempted coups and was reportedly the target of several assassination plots. Critics questioned his devotion to democracy, and accused him of encouraging, if not engineering, the 2006 coup that ousted elected Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. He denied such allegations, but in the months preceding the military takeover, frequently talked about corruption and greed in government - a major accusation against Thaksin by his critics - and strongly advised in public speeches to army and navy cadets that their... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Former Thai Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda Dies at 98, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Former Thai Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda Dies at 98

 

 

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Published By: VOA NEWS - Sunday, 26 May

 

 

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