Somsak Kiatsuranont

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Somsak Kiatsuranont
สมศักดิ์ เกียรติสุรนนท์

MPCh MWM MP
Speaker of the House of Representatives
and President of the National Assembly of Thailand
In office
3 August 2011 – 9 December 2013
Preceded by Chai Chidchob
Succeeded by Pornpetch Wichitcholchai
(President of the National Legislative Assembly)
Personal details
Born (1954-06-27) June 27, 1954 (age 61)
Khon Kaen, Thailand
Nationality Thai
Political party Pheu Thai Party
Alma mater Khon Kaen University, Chulalongkorn University
Profession Engineer
Religion Buddhism

Somsak Kiatsuranont (Thai: สมศักดิ์ เกียรติสุรนนท์; born 27 June 1954 in Khon Kaen) is a Thai politician (Pheu Thai Party). He has been serving as the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Thailand who is ex officio also the President of the National Assembly of Thailand, since 3 August 2011.

Somsak Kiatsuranont studied engineering. He holds a Bachelor's degree from the Khon Kaen University, and a Master's degree from the Chulalongkorn University.

Somsak is a Member of Parliament, representing Khon Kaen. In 1997, at the time a member of the New Aspiration Party, he was Vice Speaker of the House of Representatives. During this time, he acquired the nickname "The Hammer Man" ("ขุนค้อน") for his impartiality in presiding over the House's meetings and intensive use of the presidium's gavel.[1] Later, he was a member of the Thai Rak Thai Party of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, which was banned after the 2006 coup d'etat, and transferred into the People's Power Party (PPP). In the PPP-led government of Samak Sundaravej, Somsak was Minister of Culture from August to September 2008, and Minister of Justice in Somchai Wongsawat's cabinet from September to December 2008. Then, the PPP suffered the same fate as the Thai Rak Thai, and was dissolved by the Constitutional Court, but was revived as the Pheu Thai Party, of which Somsak Kiatsuranont has been the vice chairman since September 2010.

After the Pheu Thai Party won the 2011 general election, Somsak Kiatsuranont was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, on 2 August 2011. Somsak who exercised restraint during the 2010 Thai political protests, is considered to be also acceptable for the parliamentary opposition. The Democrat Party did not field an opposing candidate. He was formally approved by the king on 3 August.[2]

Somsak was decorated with the highest class (Knight Grand Cordon) of both the Order of the White Elephant, and the Order of the Crown of Thailand.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Unbiased gavel in the House?", Bangkok Post, 4 Aug 2011, retrieved 6 Aug 2011 
  2. ^ "HM the King appoints House speaker", Bangkok Post, 3 Aug 2011, retrieved 6 Aug 2011