Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
General Sunthorn Kongsompong (1931 - 1999) was the de facto head of government of Thailand from 1991 - 1992, following a military coup d'etat led by Sunthorn and General Suchinda Kraprayoon deposed the government of Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan on February 23, 1991. The generals accused Chatichai of corruption, and established the National Peacekeeping Council (NPC) as a temporary government, with Sunthorn as chairman. Anand Panyarachun was appointed prime minister in March, but ultimate control of the country remained in the hands of the NPC. Sunthorn left political office following the May 1992 constitutional reforms, which prohibited members of the military from becoming Prime Minister.
Following his death due to cancer, a scandal arose over the distribution of his estate. His will left most of his approximately 150 million U.S. dollar fortune to his mistress. His wife sued to have the will declared void. However, questions arose on how a general earning a little over US$1,000 a month could accumulate such a large personal fortune. The case led to the investigation of other generals, politicians, and businessmen into possible money laundering and corruption.
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