Sundaravej was dismissed from office Tuesday after a court found he violated the Thai Constitution by taking money for hosting cooking shows on commercial television.
Aides to Samak said he decided against seeking reinstatement after coalition parties voiced opposition to his proposed nomination by his People Power Party, the Thai News Agency reported Friday.
Samak had been besieged since May by massive protests organized by the People's Alliance for Democracy, who said he was an ineffective leader.
Leaders of parties in the temporary caretaker government said the new prime minister must be able to unify deep divisions in Thai society, Xinhua, China's official news agency, said.
A vote scheduled for Friday to select the new prime minister was postponed until next Wednesday after the Thai Parliament failed to obtain a quorum of members from the six-party coalition, Xinhua reported.