MPCh MWM MP
|Speaker of the House of Representatives
and President of the National Assembly of Thailand
3 August 2011 – 9 December 2013
|Preceded by||Chai Chidchob|
|Succeeded by||Pornpetch Wichitcholchai
(President of the National Legislative Assembly)
June 27, 1954 |
Khon Kaen, Thailand
|Political party||Pheu Thai Party|
|Alma mater||Khon Kaen University, Chulalongkorn University|
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 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. 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.