Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha attends a group photo with his cabinet members at the government house in Bangkok Tuesday, July 16, 2019. Prayuth on Tuesday led his 36 cabinet members to take their oaths in front of Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
BANGKOK, July 16: Thailand’s new Cabinet has been sworn in, creating a nominally elected government after five years of military rule but keeping power in the hands of the same allies of the army.
Prayuth Chan-ocha, who as army commander seized power in a 2014 coup and then served as junta leader and prime minister, returns to serve again as prime minister. This time he was elected by a parliamentary vote after a March general election gave pro-military parties a majority.
The election was held according to laws enacted by Prayuth’s junta aimed at disadvantaging established political parties. Critics say the vote was undemocratic and engineered to prolong rule by the military and its conservative allies.
A government spokeswoman said King Maha Vajiralongkorn presided over Tuesday’s swearing-in of the 36-member Cabinet.