Bangkok, June 11: Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Tuesday endorsed junta leader Prayut Chan-o-cha, a former retired Royal Thai Army general officer and head of the National Council for Peace and Order as Prime Minister.
Expressing gratitude he said, "My family and I will forever owe a debt of gratitude to His Majesty's kindness," Independent Online quoted Prayut during a speech at Government House.
"I affirm that I will dedicate myself to public service with honesty and integrity," he added.
The 65-year-old retired general seized power in a May 2014 coup and made himself prime minister the same year. In a bid to give himself legitimacy to continue to rule, Prayut's regime allowed an election to be held but rigged the rules in its own favour, including hand-picking all 250 senators and granting them the right to vote for the prime minister alongside the elected lower.
Although the king's endorsement on Tuesday is a matter of formality, analysts say that without the king's backing, Prayut would not have all the support required to continue his rule.
It is not immediately known when a new government will be formed and take office.
The king was not physically present to give Prayut his support. He spends the majority of his time in Germany, where he has a private villa. (UNI)