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New House speaker Wan Noor’s background

PRACHACHART leader Wan Muhamad Noor Matha who was elected speaker of the House of Representatives as expected this morning (July 4) has been a key player in the Thai political arena for decades having already previously held this position once as well as a number ministerial posts, Naewna newspaper said.

His election to the top post of the legislative branch was unopposed and followed a joint late night press conference by Move Forward and Pheu Thai parties announcing that the eight coalition partners had reached an agreement to name Wan Noor for this position thus ending a tussle that dragged on for weeks.

Born on May 11, 1954 in Yala province, Wan Noor completed his upper secondary education at Islamic College of Thailand in Bangkok. He then obtained a bachelor’s degree in education from Chulalongkorn University after which with an Interior Ministry scholarship a master’s degree in education administration from this same university.

He was first elected an MP for Yala in 1979 under Social Action Party’s tickets. In 1984 he moved to the Democrat Party where he was elected an MP for a second term.

Wan Noor together with Democrat Party’s secretary-general Veera Musikapong then set up the Wahdah faction which in 1988 left this camp and formed Prachachon Party under whose tickets he came back as MP for the third term.

In 1992 he joined New Aspiration Party and was again elected an MP after which he hopped over to Thai Rak Thai Party in 2002, also moving to Pheu Thai Party, before setting up Prachachart Party in 2018.

He has held several ministerial portfolios including Deputy Interior Minister during Oct. 25-Dec. 11,1994 and Interior Minister Oct. 3, 2002- Mar. 10, 2004; Transport Minister July 13,1995-Nov. 24 1996 and Feb. 17, 2001- Oct. 3 2003; Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Oct.6, 2004-March 11,2005 and Deputy Prime Minister March 10-Oct.6, 2004.

In 1996, when Wan Noor was elected an MP for the seventh term, he was chosen the House speaker with this being the first time a Muslim has headed Thailand’s legislative branch and he was again similarly honoured today.


Prachachart leader Wan Muhamamad Noor Matha upon being elected House speaker today, July 4, 2023. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Naewna

Also read: Wan Noor named House speaker, endorsed by Move Forward-led coalition

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