Thai army commander Sondhi Boonyaratglin has promised to appoint an interim prime minister within two weeks after a bloodless coup against billionaire telecom tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra.
Following are pen portraits of probables and possibles being debated by Thai media and analysts:
The respected central bank governor is hot favourite to take up the reins, even though he denied reports on his return from an IMF/World Bank conference in Singapore that the army had already approached him with an offer.
Head of the central bank since his appointment by Thaksin in 2001 after a career in finance, the US-educated Pridiyathorn is said to be valued for his economic credentials. He is due to reach the mandatory retirement age of 60 next year.
A venerated diplomat-turned-businessman, the septuagenarian Anand has played the role of post-coup prime minister before.
Appointed in 1991 after generals overthrew the elected government of Chatchai Choonhavan, he found himself back in the job the next year when their proxy won an election only to be deposed in a "people power" uprising shortly afterwards.
On the board of several major firms, he is seen as a friend of the business community who nevertheless retains the respect of civil society groups. His last public role was as chairman of a reconciliation commission on the troubled far south.
A professor of public law, Ackaratorn is president of the Supreme Administrative Court and one of the judges summoned by revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej in April to resolve the mess left behind by that month's inconclusive snap election.
Chanchai is due to retire as Supreme Court President this month. He was also one of those charged by the king with sorting out the political mess in April.
A former army Commander-in-Chief, Surayud is a senior royal adviser who often appears at the shoulder of Queen Sirikit or Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn during trips to the restive Muslim-majority south.
He has a reputation as an intelligent and professional soldier.
A former chief of the economic and social planning agency, Sumet is president of the Chaipattana Foundation responsible for administering royal development projects.
Sumet is a keen advocate of King Bhumibol's "self-sufficiency economy". In recent public speeches he attacked "greedy capitalism", interpreted as a dig at Thaksin.