Samak Sundaravej is considered to be a proxy for the
deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra [EPA]
After 16 months of military government, Thailand has a new and democratically elected prime minister. 

Samak Sundaravej is a protégé of Thaksin Shinawatra, the former exiled prime minister, and a polarising figure in Thai politics.

Samak heads a six-party coalition. How will he hold the government together and address the grave problems facing the country, including the return of Thaksin to face charges for alleged graft.

Leaders of Thailand's People Alliance for Democracy have issued a stern warning, saying they would bring protesters back onto the streets, if the government tried to whitewash the Thaksin issue and install him in power once again.

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This episode of 101 East aired on Saturday, February 9, 2008

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