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Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
Thai post-coup cabinet sworn in
Gen Surayud Chulanont, Thai interim prime minister
Gen Surayud has chosen a 26-member cabinet
Thailand's king has sworn in a post-coup cabinet, chosen by new Prime Minister Gen Surayud Chulanont.

The head of the central bank, Pridiyathorn Devakula, has been named finance minister and deputy premier.

Other top jobs have been given to academics and bureaucrats, with only two ex-military officers in the 26-member team.

Army officers took over after a bloodless coup in September, ousting the then PM Thaksin Shinawatra.

The coup leaders say the military had to overthrow the former government to stop systematic corruption.

'Right man'

"The country needs to pass the crisis, the situation now needs people who have ability to make the progress for the country," King Bhumibol Adulyadej said during the swearing in ceremony in Bangkok.

NEW THAI CABINET
Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont
Finance Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula
Foreign Minister Nitya Pibulsonggram
Defence Minister Boonrawd Somtas
Education Minister Wichit Srisa-an
Energy Minister Piyasvasti Amranand
Transport Minister Thira Haocharoen

He described the ministers as "capable people", urging them to "act honestly as you have sworn to do".

Pridiyathorn Devakula will now be serving as finance minister and deputy prime minister in the new cabinet.

Analysts are likely to view his appointment as an attempt to ease investors' worries about the economic consequences of the coup.

"He is the right man for the current situation," said Abhisit Vejjajiva, the leader of the Democrat party, which was the main opposition during Mr Thaksin's rule.

Another senior cabinet member, new Foreign Minister Nitya Pibulsongkram, is also being seen as a popular choice.

He is well-known abroad, and served as chief negotiator in free trade talks between Thailand and the US.

Retired army general Bunrod Somtad, a close friend of Gen Surayud, was named defence minister - one of only two former military men named as cabinet members.

Tanks leaving the Royal Plaza on Sunday
The military took over in a coup on 19 September

Many critics had been watching to see how many military figures featured in the new cabinet line-up - looking for signs of how much control the coup leaders wish to retain under the new government.

Since the 19 September coup, the military have chosen Gen Surayud as the new prime minister and unveiled a short-term constitution, under which they will maintain substantial powers until elections promised for October 2007.

Martial law is still in place - as it has been since the night of the coup - and government spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarp said it would continue to remain in force for the time being.

"With regard to martial law, the new government has to consider the current situation," Mr Yongyuth told Reuters new agency.


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