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Former Thai Prime Minister Samak dies

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Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) — Former Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, who was ousted from office last year for appearing on television cooking shows for payment, died Tuesday.

Samak died after a two-month hospitalization at Bangkok’s Bumrungrad International Hospital for liver cancer, said his personal secretary, Paisarn Akkasarakul. Samak was 74 and had battled cancer for a year.

His funeral will be held at Benjamaborpit Temple and a royally sponsored bathing rite is set for Wednesday, the Thai News Agency said.

Samak steered the People Power Party to victory in December 2007 in the first democratically held election since a bloodless coup the year before.

But the veteran politician and former governor of Bangkok was accused of being a nominee of friend and former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, whose administration was mired in allegations of corruption.


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