Finance Minister confirms he won't return to govt

( - Caretaker deputy prime minister and finance minister Surapong Suebwonglee, who was the favourite to take the premierís post earlier, said he had informed the People Power party (PPP) that he will not take any political position temporarily.

Mr Surapong, in the capacity as the PPP secretary-general, said his determination to work and create a strong political foundation was gone after Mr Samak Sundaravej was disqualified from premiership. He said he wanted to take a political break.

Mr Surapong is still involved in the two- and three-digit lottery case.

However, newly appointed prime minister Somchai Wongsawat said he would like Mr Surapong to continue to work for the government, but noted that he has no authority to give any cabinet position to anyone.

When asked whether Mr Somchai will ask former finance minister Thanong Bidaya to join the cabinet, he said he will wait for the royal endorsement first before making any comment.