BANGKOK: For some six months now Thai Prime Minister Kukrit Pramoj has managed by a rare skill for compromise and his own popularity to keep a shaky coalition government together as Thailand struggles to keep democracy alive after 40 years of military dictatorship. Some two years ago, the Thai people, led by young university students, overthrew the military dictatorship of Prime Minister Kittikachorn. For the next 18 months the country was governed by an interim cabinet arid the king's personal appointee, Prime Minister Sanya, a nonpolitical figure and former rector of the university. In January 1975, after the adoption of a new constitution, the first elections were finally held. It was Prime Minister Kukrit's brother who emerged as the first coalition choice for prime minister, but unfortunately he was able to hold the coalition government together for only a few days. At that point Kukrit himself came to the fore despite his party's having only 18 seats out of 269.
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