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Thai king endorses coup leader as prime minister

Thai Army Chief General Prayut Chan-O-Cha pays his respects in front of a portrait of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej during a royal command ceremony to swear him in as Prime Minister at the Army headquarters in Bangkok on August 25, 2014Thailand’s coup leader was formally endorsed as prime minister by the nation’s revered king on Monday, in a step towards forming a government to oversee sweeping reforms in the politically turbulent kingdom. Army chief General Prayut Chan-O-Cha, 60, who booted out an elected government in a bloodless power grab on May 22, was chosen uncontested as premier last week by a national assembly made up mainly of military figures. In a brief but elaborate ceremony to receive the royal command, Prayut — wearing a white official uniform — knelt and bowed in front of large portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The junta, formally known as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), says it was forced to take power after months of protests left nearly 30 people dead and hundreds more wounded, paralysing the government, cramping the economy and frightening off tourists.

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