Abhisit Vejjajiva

Abhisit Vejjajiva (Thai: อภิสิทธิ์ เวชชาชีวะ; RTGSAphisit Wetchachiwa (Thai pronunciation); IPA: [ʔà.pʰí.sìt wêːt.tɕʰāː.tɕʰīː.wáʔ] pronunciation ; born 3 August 1964) is a Thai politician who was the 27th prime minister of Thailand from 2008 to 2011. He is a former university lecturer at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, Thammasat University, Oxford University[4] and is the current leader of the Democrat Party.[5] As leader of the second largest party in the House of Representatives, he was also leader of the opposition – a position he held from December 2008 until his party's en masse resignation from the House on 8 December 2013. That same month, he was formally charged with murder resulting from a crackdown on demonstrators in 2010 that killed 90 people.[6]

Born in England, the United Kingdom, Abhisit attended Eton College and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Oxford.[7] He was elected to the Parliament of Thailand at the age of 27, and promoted to Democrat Party leader in 2005, after his predecessor resigned following the party's defeat in the 2005 general election.[8]

Abhisit was appointed prime minister of Thailand on 17 December 2008, after the Constitutional Court of Thailand removed Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat from office.[9][10] At age 44, he was the country's youngest prime minister in more than 60 years.[11]

Abhisit became premier at a time of global economic turmoil and rising domestic political tensions.[12] As prime minister, he promoted a "People's Agenda," which focused primarily on policies affecting the living conditions of Thailand's rural and working class citizens.[13] He administered two economic stimulus packages: a US$40 billion, three-year infrastructure improvement plan, and a more than US$3 billion program of cash subsidies and handouts.[14] By 2010, the stock market and the value of the baht had rebounded to their highest levels since the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Human Rights Watch called Vejjajiva "the most prolific censor in recent Thai history" and Freedom House downgraded Thailand's rating of media freedom to "not free."[15][16] Abhisit also advocated for stronger anti-corruption measures, although several members of his Cabinet resigned due to corruption scandals and parts of his economic stimulus packages were criticised for instances of alleged corruption.

Abhisit's government faced major protests in April 2009 and April–May 2010. The military's crackdowns on protesters left many dead.[17][18] Abhisit launched a reconciliation plan to investigate the crackdown, but the work of the investigation commission was hampered by military and government agencies.[19] The Thai Army clashed with Cambodian troops numerous times from 2009 to 2010 in the bloodiest fighting in over two decades.[20] The South Thailand insurgency escalated during Abhisit's government, and reports of torture and human rights violations increased.

Having resigned the party leadership after the defeat the Democrats suffered in the parliamentary elections of 2011, Abhisit was re-elected as leader at a party assembly.

In 2018, the Democrats held a contest for party leader in preparation for the upcoming election. Abhisit was re-elected party leader, beating former PDRC leader, Warong Dechgitvigrom, by approximately 10,000 votes.[21]

Abhisit Vejjajiva

อภิสิทธิ์ เวชชาชีวะ
Abhisit Vejjajiva 2009 official
27th Prime Minister of Thailand
In office
17 December 2008 – 5 August 2011
MonarchBhumibol Adulyadej
DeputyKobsak Sabhavasu
Trairong Suwankiri
Suthep Thaugsuban
Sanan Kachornprasart
Preceded byChaovarat Chanweerakul (Acting)
Succeeded byYingluck Shinawatra
Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives
In office
6 August 2011 – 8 December 2013
Prime MinisterYingluck Shinawatra
Preceded byChalerm Yubamrung
Succeeded byParliament dissolved
In office
6 March 2005 – 17 December 2008
Prime MinisterThaksin Shinawatra
Chitchai Wannasathit (Acting)
Samak Sundaravej
Somchai Wongsawat
Chaovarat Chanweerakul (Acting)
Preceded byBanyat Bantadtan
Succeeded byChalerm Yubamrung
Leader of the Democrat Party
Assumed office
6 March 2005
Preceded byBanyat Bantadtan
Member of the Thai House of Representatives
In office
1 July 1992 – 8 December 2013
ConstituencyBangkok Metropolitan Region – 6th District
Minister to the Office of the Prime Minister
In office
14 November 1997 – 6 January 2001
Prime MinisterChuan Leekpai
Personal details
Born
Mark Abhisit Vejjajiva

3 August 1964 (age 54)
Wallsend, England, UK[1][2]
Political partyDemocrat Party
Spouse(s)Pimpen Vejjajiva
Children2[3]
EducationSt John's College, Oxford
Ramkhamhaeng University
Signature
Abhisit Vejjajiva's signature

Early life and family

Etoncollege
Eton College
Abhisit Vejjajiva and Pimpen Sakuntabhai
Abhisit Vejjajiva, wearing prime ministerial attire, including the golden brocaded Senamat gown (ครุยเสนามาตย์), and his wife, Dr Pimpen, wearing a Thai silk dress

Mark Abhisit Vejjajiva was born in Wallsend, England, United Kingdom. He studied in England from the age of 11, where he attended Eton College.[22][23] Abhisit earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE), first class honours, and a master's degree in economics from St John's College, Oxford. While studying in England, he went to Thailand several times, including a gap year trip in 1983 with classmate and future London Mayor Boris Johnson to the resort city of Chiang Mai and the island of Phuket.[24]

After moving to Thailand, he received a bachelor's degree in law from Thailand's Ramkhamhaeng University, and taught at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy[25] and Thammasat University Faculty of Economics.[26] He is fluent in both his mother tongue and the English language, and has dual Thai and British citizenship.[27] His dual citizenship became a topic for the Thai parliamentary debates in early 2011. He is of Chinese descent[28][29] and a seventh generation overseas Hakka.[30]

Abhisit is married to Pimpen Sakuntabhai, his classmate at the Chulalongkorn University Demonstration elementary school, who is a former dentist and is now a lecturer at the Department of Mathematics at Chulalongkorn University. They have two children: Prang Vejjajiva (daughter) and Pannasit Vejjajiva (son). Pannasit has suffered from autism since birth.[31] After his majority, the Central Juvenile and Family Court adjudged him quasi-incompetent and placed him under the guardianship of Abhisit, his father, as from 3 September 2012.[31]

Abhisit also has two sisters: child psychiatrist Alisa Wacharasindhu and author Ngarmpun Vejjajiva.[32] One of Abhisit's first cousins, Suranand Vejjajiva was a cabinet minister under Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai party and served as the Prime Minister's Secretary General under Yingluck Shinawatra. Suranand's father, Nissai Vejjajiva served as the ambassador to various countries between the 1960s to 1980s and is the older brother of Abhisit's father, Athasit.[33][34]

Background

Abhisit's ethnic Chinese ancestors were surnamed Yuan () and arrived in Thailand from Vietnam. The family name Vejjajiva was granted by King Rama VI to Abhisit's grandfather Dr. Long (หลง), together with Long's father Nai Jinsang (นายจิ๊นแสง), grandfather Nai Peng (นายเป๋ง) and great-grandfather Nai Go (นายก่อ) while Dr Long was serving as an Army Medical Department sub-lieutenant (รองอำมาตย์ตรี[35])

The Vejjajiva family came to prominence when Dr. Long, then styled Phra Bamrad Naradura, rose to public health minister, and founded the Bamrad Naradura hospital in Nonthaburi. The family name means "medical profession".[36]

Abhisit's father, Athasit (อรรถสิทธิ์) Vejjajiva, is a former president of Mahidol University and a member of the Royal Institute of Thailand.[37] After the National Peace Keeping Council seized power in a military coup in 1991, the military junta appointed Abhisit's father Deputy Minister of Public Health.[38][39]

Early political career

Entry into politics

Abhisit began his political career in the 1992 general elections that followed the coup, becoming a Bangkok MP for the Democrat Party. He was re-elected to the same seat in the 1995 and 1996 general elections. In the elections of 2001 and 2005, he returned to parliament as a Party List MP for the Democrat Party. He has served as Democrat Party spokesman, Government spokesman, Deputy-Secretary to the Prime Minister for Political Affairs, Chairman of the House Education Affairs Committee, and Minister to the Prime Minister's Office.

Education Reform

During his administration as Minister to the Prime Minister's Office, he was responsible for the national education act of 1999.[40]

Democrat Party leader

Abhisit was first nominated for the position of Democrat Party leader in 2003, following the resignation of then-party leader and former-Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai. However, he lost the bid in a close election with seasoned politician Banyat Bantadtan.[41] Two years later, Banyat led the Democrat Party to an overwhelming defeat in the 2005 general elections. Banyat resigned following the elections and Abhisit was named the new party leader.

2006 elections

In February 2006, then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra dissolved the House of Representatives and called for new elections in April. In response, Abhisit announced that the Democrats and other opposition parties would boycott the elections. They claimed the elections lacked legitimacy, and were an attempt by Thaksin to divert public attention from his tax free sales of the Shin Corporation to Temasek Holdings.[42]

Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai Party won an overwhelming majority in the virtually uncontested April 2006 election. However, the elections also left 38 seats vacant in the House of Representatives, because some Thai Rak Thai candidates were unable to garner the constitutionally required minimum of 20% of the vote to hold office. In the ensuing political crisis, Thaksin announced he would step down as Prime Minister, and the Constitutional Court ultimately invalidated the election results.[43]

The Thai Rak Thai party charged the Democrats with bribing other small political parties into boycotting the April 2006 elections. An 11-member fact-finding panel headed by Deputy Attorney-General Chaikasem Nitisiri voted unanimously in June 2006 to recommend dissolving the Democrat Party, as well as Thai Rak Thai and three other parties, based on evidence that the Democrats bribed other opposition parties into boycotting the elections.[44][45] In February 2007, candidates from the Progressive Democratic Party testified before the Constitution Tribunal that they were duped into registering for candidacy in the April elections.[46] Three witnesses testified that Democrat leaders Thaworn Senniam, Wirat Kalayasiri, and Jua Ratchasi encouraged protesters to disrupt the registration of candidates during the by-elections after the April 2006 election. Prosecutors contended that the party tried to disqualify the election results and force continuous rounds of by-elections.[47] The defence claimed that the witnesses were hired by the Thai Rak Thai party to discredit the Democrats. Ultimately, the Constitutional Court of Thailand acquitted Abhisit and the Democrats of bribery, and instead banned Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai party for the same charges.[48][49]

2006 military coup

On 19 September 2006, only weeks before the scheduled elections, the military seized power in the 2006 Thailand coup. Abhisit voiced his disapproval of the coup just hours before all political activities were banned:

We cannot and do not support any kind of extra-constitutional change, but it is done. The country has to move forward and the best way forward is for the coup leaders to quickly return power to the people and carry out the reforms they promised. They have to prove themselves. I urge them to lift all restrictions as soon as possible. There is no need to write a brand new constitution. They could make changes to the 1997 constitution and if that's the case, there is no reason to take a year. Six months is a good time.[50]

Abhisit and the Democrats supported the military junta's 2007 draft constitution on the grounds that rejecting it would give more power to the junta.[51] Abhisit said the Democrat Party considered the new constitution similar to the 1997 Constitution, but with improvements as well as faults. "If we wanted to please the Council for National Security we would reject the draft so it could pick a charter of its own choosing. If we reject the draft, it will be like handing out power to the Council. We have come up with this stand because we care about national interest and want democracy to be restored soon," he said.[51] Abhisit said he would seek to amend the Constitution if he was named prime minister.[52]

2007 elections

The Democrat Party remained in the opposition after the December 2007 parliamentary election. In a parliamentary vote to select a new prime minister on 28 January 2008, Samak Sundaravej of the People's Power Party defeated Abhisit by a vote of 310 to 163.[53] On 9 September 2008, Mr. Samak was removed from the post by the Constitutional Court for receiving payment as the host of a TV cooking program.

In the crisis that followed, some Democrat Party members became leaders of the People's Alliance for Democracy, which organised a six-month-long demonstration and seized Government House, Don Muang Airport, and Suvarnabhumi Airport. Abhisit voiced displeasure at the sieges, but did not stop his deputies from their leadership of the PAD.[54] The sieges ended after the Constitutional Court banned the People's Power Party. Army commander and co-leader of the 2006 coup, General Anupong Paochinda, allegedly coerced several PPP MPs from the Friends of Newin Group to defect to the Democrat Party, allowing Abhisit to be elected Prime Minister.[55][56]

Upon becoming Premiere, Abhisit promised to enforce the rule of law and prosecute the 21 People's Alliance for Democracy leaders who were responsible for seizing Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi Airport. As of February 2010, arrest warrants still had not been issued for the airport seizures.[57] On 24 February 2010, government prosecutors deferred a decision for the eighth time to decide whether to indict the nine leaders of the PAD over the 7-month long seizure of the Government House. However, as the PAD leaders did not voluntarily come to testify, the judge could not make the decision and the process was thereby delayed.

Rise to Premiership

Abhisit Vejjajiva 2008-03-20
Abhisit as Leader of the opposition (2008)

When Thaksin called for new elections in April 2006, Abhisit said he was "prepared to become a prime minister who adheres to the principles of good governance and ethics, not authoritarianism." On 29 April Abhisit announced his candidacy for prime minister at the Democrat Party annual convention. He promised a "People's Agenda", with education as the main focus. He used the campaign slogan "Putting People First". He also vowed not to privatise basic utilities such as water and electricity, and to nationalise state enterprises that Thaksin had privatised.[58] Regarding core elements of the so-called "Thaksinomics", Abhisit promised "the benefits from certain populist policies, such as the 30-baht healthcare scheme, the Village Fund and the SML (Small Medium Large) scheme, will not be revoked but instead improved." He later urged that Thaksin's popular 30-baht health care scheme should be replaced with a system where access to medical services was totally free.[59] Abhisit stated that all future Democrat MPs would have to declare their assets and any involvement in private companies. (By law, only members of the cabinet needed to declare their assets.)[60]

Abhisit raised more than 200 million baht at the Democrat Party's 60th anniversary dinner. He outlined several energy policies, including increasing dividend payments from state-owned oil company PTT and using the funds to repay oil fund debts, and having state-owned electric utility EGAT absorb part of the rising fuel prices.[61] Abhisit later outlined plans to reduce retail petrol prices by eliminating the 2.50 baht/litre tax used to maintain the government's oil fund.[62]

On 13 July 2006, Abhisit promised to deal with escalating violence in the South by putting problems in the southern provinces on the public agenda.

Abhisit also promised many populist policies including providing free education, textbooks, milk, and supplemental foods for nursery school students, and increasing the minimum wage.[63]

Following the Constitutional Court of Thailand's removal of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej in 2008 for vested interests by taking a salary from a cooking show while being prime minister, Abhisit lost the National Assembly vote for prime minister by 163 votes to 298 for Somchai Wongsawat, ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra's brother-in-law.[64] On 2 December 2008, the Constitutional Court banned the three government parties for electoral fraud, including the PPP, thus dissolving the governing coalition and paving the way for a Democrat-Party-led government. The court also removed Somchai from office and banned him from politics for five years due to his involvement in the scandal as one of PPP's executive board members. He was succeeded by a deputy.

Abhisit Vejjajiva
Abhisit at the Government House in 2009

After Somchai was removed and the PPP dissolved, the MPs of the parties which had been in coalition with the PPP forged a new coalition with the Democrat Party, which had been in opposition until then. Most of the defectors were MPs from the Friends of Newin faction of the PPP, as well as the Bhumjaithai Party, the Puea Pandin Party, the Chartthaipattana Party, and the Rum Chart Pattana Party.[65] The defection of the powerful Friends of Newin Group came about due to the alleged coercion by Army Commander General Anupong Paochinda, a move that Senator Khamnoon Sitthisamarn called an "Anupong-style coup".[55][56][66] The Democrat-led coalition was able to endorse Abhisit as Prime Minister.[67][68][69] Abhisit became Prime Minister after winning a vote in parliament on 15 December 2008.[70]

Prime Minister of Thailand

Abhisit and Chuan
Abhisit with his political mentor Chuan Leekpai

Abhisit was formally endorsed by King Bhumibol Adulyadej as Prime Minister on 17 December 2008. Key appointments in Abhisit's government included PAD leader Kasit Piromya as Foreign Minister, construction tycoon Chaovarat Chanweerakul as Interior Minister, and investment banker and former Abhisit classmate Korn Chatikavanij as Finance Minister.[71] Massage parlor tycoon Pornthiva Nakasai was appointed Deputy Commerce Minister.

Abhisit's government saw unemployment increase by 63 percent.[72] Thailand's government budget went into deficit for the first time since 2003. By 2010, the government's debt had bloomed and reached 4.8% of GDP, the largest budget deficit since the government of Chuan Leekpai. This was likely due to the decades of tense political situation in the country.[73] To help the people, Abhisit subsidised the price of diesel, LPG cooking gas, and household electricity. Public bus and train journeys were provided for free.[74]

Abhisit's information and communications technology (ICT) policy included increased censorship of Internet sites the government considered deemed offensive to the monarchy, cancellation of 3G 2.1 gigahertz spectrum licence auctions, and larger budgets for government-owned TOT.[75][76]

Wealth

Upon his appointment as prime minister in 2008, Abhisit officially declared personal assets worth 51.8 million baht (nearly US$2 million). This had increased to 54.4 million upon leaving office. Given that Abhisit has never worked in the private sector, the vast majority of his wealth was either inherited or given to him.[77]

Criticisms

In his political career, Abhisit has been accused of hypocrisy. Prior to Abhisit's planned speech at St John's College on 14 March 2009, Lee Jones, a researcher on international relations at Oxford University, sent a letter to the dean of St John's College, attacking Abhisit and his administration as "democratic hypocrites".[78] Part of the letter read "Although it is understandable given his education at St John's, I do not believe it is appropriate to ask someone like him to address the Oxford community on the subject of 'democracy'. As you may be aware, the Abhisit administration has only come to power in Thailand following a period of naked manipulation of Thai politics by cynical political elites, including the leadership of Abhisit's own 'Democrat' Party."[79] Jones later clarified on his website that he had not intended to oppose the Thai PM and the event.[80]

Abhisit refused to resign as prime minister after a clash between government troops and anti-government protesters on 10 April 2010 had claimed the lives of at least 23 people and injured hundreds more.[81]

Honours

Royal decorations

Abhisit has received the following royal decorations in the Honours System of Thailand:

Order of the White Elephant - Special Class (Thailand) ribbon
Order of the Crown of Thailand - Special Class (Thailand) ribbon

Military rank

Volunteer Defense Corps of Thailand rank

See also

References

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  77. ^ "Two-thirds of Thailand cabinet are millionaires". The Guardian. Associated Press. 28 September 2011. Archived from the original on 1 October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  78. ^ "Foreign academic names PM, his govt as "Hypocrites"". The Nation. 13 March 2009. Archived from the original on 16 March 2009.
  79. ^ "Letter of Lee Jones". The Nation. 17 March 2009. Archived from the original on 6 January 2014.
  80. ^ "Oxford researcher clarifies his e-mail on Thai PM". The Nation. 13 March 2009. Archived from the original on 16 March 2009.
  81. ^ "Angels with bloody hands". The Economist. 15 April 2010. Archived from the original on 29 April 2010.
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  83. ^ http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/PM-Abhisit-unsheathe-their-legal-swords-30195546.html
  84. ^ http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/abhisit-ask-nacc-probe-ex-defence-minister-sukumphol/
  85. ^ http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2552/B/008/14.PDF

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Chaovarat Chanweerakul
Acting
Prime Minister of Thailand
2008–2011
Succeeded by
Yingluck Shinawatra
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Lee Hsien Loong
Chairperson of ASEAN
2009
Succeeded by
Nguyễn Minh Triết
2009 Thai political unrest

A series of political demonstrations and following unrest occurred in Thailand from 26 March to 14 April 2009 in Bangkok and Pattaya against the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva and the military crackdown that followed. Up to 100,000 people demonstrated in central Bangkok at the height of the protests.

Abhisit cabinet

The Abhisit Cabinet (Council of Ministers) or formally the 59th Council of Ministers (คณะรัฐมนตรี คณะที่ 59) was announced after the appointment of Abhisit Vejjajiva as Prime Minister of Thailand on the 17 December 2008. The Cabinet line-up itself was announced on the 20 December, to the news media. The Cabinet was formally sworn in by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on the 22 December at the Klai Kangwon Villa in Hua Hin.

Apirak Kosayodhin

Apirak Kosayodhin (Thai: อภิรักษ์ โกษะโยธิน; RTGS: Aphirak Kosayothin, born March 30, 1961) is a former Thai business executive and former governor of Bangkok. In the gubernatorial elections on August 29, 2004 he won with 40% of the votes. He was re-elected on October 6, 2008, in the gubernatorial elections with 45% of the vote, but he resigned a month later after being indicted on charges of corruption.

Afterward the resignation Mr. Apirak became an advisor to Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva. In December 2010, he became the 2nd Bangkok district Member of Parliament, with 69% of the vote. After the 2011 National Election, Mr. Apirak became the 8th Party-list MP of the Democrats Party of Thailand. He also became the deputy-leader of the Party and the Shadow Minister of Commerce.

Born in Nonthaburi in a Thai Chinese family, he studied at Triam Udom Suksa School and Chiang Mai University, where he received a bachelor's degree in Food Science and Technology in 1983. Beginning his professional career at the Thai branch of Pizza Hut, he worked at several companies as manager and director. 2002–2004 he was among other posts CEO of TA Orange (currently known as True Move) and member of the Board of Directors of the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

Chartthaipattana Party

The Chartthaipattana Party (Thai: พรรคชาติไทยพัฒนา Phak Chat Thai Patthana, (CP) English: Thai Nation Development Party) was founded on 18 April 2008, in anticipation of the 2 December 2008, Constitutional Court of Thailand ruling which dissolved the Chart Thai Party and banned its executive members from participating in politics for five years beginning on that date. Numerous former members of the Chart Thai Party joined the Chart Thai Patthana Party. Therefore, the Chart Thai Pattana party is the de facto successor party to the Chart Thai Party. The first party's leader is Chumpol Silpa-archa, the younger brother of former Prime Minister Banharn Silpa-archa, who has been banned from politics by the Constitutional Court. On 15 December 2008, the party joined the Democrat Party, forming a six-party coalition government under Abhisit Vejjajiva. In Abhisit's cabinet, the CP supplied the Deputy Prime Minister (Sanan Kachornprasart), the ministers of Tourism and Sports (Chumpol Silpa-archa), and Agriculture, and the deputy minister of transport.

For the general election on 3 July 2011, Chartthaipattana forged an alliance with coalition partner Bhumjaithai Party. The party's target was to win at least 30-35 seats and it was even hopeful that it could, as the third party, propose a "reconciliation prime minister". Eventually, the CP won 19 of the 500 seats in the house of representatives.

The party joined the Pheu Thai Party-led coalition government under Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2011.The party elected Kanchana Silpa-archa, daughter of former prime minister Banharn Silpa-archa, to lead them in the 2019 election.

Chavarat Charnvirakul

Chavarat Charnvirakul (Thai: ชวรัตน์ ชาญวีรกุล, RTGS: Chawarat Chanwirakun, Thai pronunciation: [t͡ɕʰá.wá.rát t͡ɕʰaːn.wiː.rá.kun]; born 7 June 1936 in Bangkok) is a Thai politician. He had served as an Acting Prime Minister of Thailand as a result of the 2008 Thai political crisis.

Chaovarat graduated from Thammasat University in 1966 with a degree in economics.After spending many years in the public sector, he joined the government in 1994 as Deputy Minister of Finance, his tenure lasted till 1997. In 2008 He rejoined the government as Minister of Public Health and later Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand.On 2 December 2008, the Constitutional Court ordered the dissolution of the People's Power Party and other coalition parties, at the same time banning their chief executives. The incumbent Prime Minister, Somchai Wongsawat, was then removed along with several other members of the Cabinet. Chaovarat, however, was the only senior Cabinet figure who was not a party executive and was therefore the only viable candidate. Either the House of Representatives of Thailand had to confirm him as the new Prime Minister, or the new political grouping must vote for a new leader and submit his name for approval. There has been some questions - even a letter submitted to the Constitutional Court by Senators - concerning the legality of his temporary appointment as Prime Minister (even in a caretaker capacity). This is because the 2007 Constitution of Thailand states that the Prime Minister must be a member of the House of Representatives; Chaovarat was not an MP. Chaovarat was replaced by Abhisit Vejjajiva on 15 December 2008. He was appointed Minister of Interior of Thailand in the Abhisit cabinet, a post which he held until the government's electoral defeat in 2011. Since 14 February 2009, Chaovarat has been the leader of the Bhumjaithai Party.

Daniel Lian

Daniel Lian is a Southeast Asia Economist for Morgan Stanley, based out of Singapore. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Lian is perhaps best known as a prominent proponent of Thaksinomics, a set of economic policies advocated by Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra designed to steer Thailand out of the Asian financial crisis.

Lian's close personal relationship with Prime Minister Thaksin has raised concerns of a possible conflict of interest that could impugn his impartiality and credibility in his role as an analyst of the Thai economy. In October 2005, more light was shed on the nature of his relationship with Thaksin when a letter that Lian had written to the Prime Minister was leaked to the Bangkok-based English-language newspaper Thai Day. In the letter, Lian thanked Thaksin for a dinner he had recently hosted and also noted the efforts that Lian had made on Thaksin's behalf. These efforts included assisting with a road show held in Hong Kong. He then questioned whether Thailand's opposition Democrat Party and its leader Abhisit Vejjajiva had anything to offer "the Thai people" other than a "pretty young face", a sarcastic reference to Abhisit's reputation as a handsome young politician.

[1]

December 2008 Thai House of Representatives vote for prime minister

Thailand prime minister election were held in Thailand on 15 December 2008. After People's Power Party was dissolved by the Constitutional Court on 2 December 2008 Somchai was banned from politics for 5 years. and was then removed along with several other members of the Cabinet. Chaovarat Chanweerakul must acting Prime Minister until Chai Chidchob Speakers of the House of Representatives of Thailand send letter inviting members to attend choose prime minister in 15 December 2008 at 09.30-11.30. Banyat Bantadtan offer name is Abhisit Vejjajiva. And Sanoh Thientong offer name is Pracha Promnok.

Democrat Party (Thailand)

The Democrat Party (Thai: พรรคประชาธิปัตย์; RTGS: prachathipat) is a Thai political party. The oldest party in Thailand, it was founded as a conservative and royalist party, and now upholds a conservative-liberal and classically liberal pro-market position.The Democrat Party made its best showings in parliament in 1948, 1976, and 1996. It has never won an outright parliamentary majority. The party's electoral support bases are southern Thailand and Bangkok, although election results in Bangkok have fluctuated widely. Since 2004, Democrat candidates won three elections for the governorship of Bangkok. Since 2005, the Democrat Party's leader has been Abhisit Vejjajiva, former prime minister.

Kasit Piromya

Kasit Piromya (Thai: กษิต ภิรมย์; RTGS: Kasit Phirom; born 15 December 1944 in Thonburi) is a Thai diplomat, Democrat Party politician, and former People's Alliance for Democracy ("Yellow Shirts") activist. He was Foreign Minister of Thailand under Abhisit Vejjajiva from 2008 to 2011.He has served as the ambassador to the Soviet Union and Mongolia, Russia and the former Soviet republics, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, Germany, Japan, and the United States. Most recently he has appeared on government opposition channels to denounce the current government as well as to denounce the US for interfering in Thai affairs.

Kobsak Sabhavasu

Kobsak Sabhavasu (Thai: กอร์ปศักดิ์ สภาวสุ, born 28 March 1949) is a Thai politician and former Deputy Prime Minister.In 2009, Kobsak and Korn Chatikavanij spoke in support of an economic stimulus plan proposed by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. During the speech, Kobsak said that country's unemployment rate could be expected to remain at 2-2.5% until 2010.In 2014, Kobsak urged the country's Anti Money Laundering Office to focus on bringing criminal suspects to justice rather than on investigating perceived enemies of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Korn Chatikavanij

Korn Chatikavanij (Thai: กรณ์ จาติกวณิช, RTGS: Kon Chatikawanit, born 19 February 1964 in London) is a Thai Democrat Party politician, best selling author, and former investment banker. From 2008 to 2011, he was finance minister under Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Ngarmpun Vejjajiva

Ngarmpun Vejjajiva (Thai: งามพรรณ เวชชาชีวะ, RTGS: Ngamphan Wetchachiwa, born January 27, 1963 in London) is a Thai novelist and translator. She was the recipient of the S.E.A. Write Award for Thailand in 2006 for her first novel, The Happiness of Kati. A wheelchair user, she has had cerebral palsy since birth and finds comfort in immersing herself in the imaginary world of reading and writing. As is customary for Thais, she has a short nickname, thus many people know her as "Jane". Ngarmpun is the sister of Thailand's former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Panitan Wattanayagorn

Panitan Wattanayagorn (Thai: ปณิธาน วัฒนายากร) is a Thai political scientist and associate professor in the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. He is also the Director of the College of Politics and Governance at King Prajadhipok's Institute. He has served advisory roles under various governments, and was acting Government Spokesperson during the premiership of Abhisit Vejjajiva.

People's Television

People's Television (PTV) was a Thai satellite television station. It was established by former executives of the Thai Rak Thai party after the 2006 Thailand military coup overthrew the Thai Rak Thai-led government. It launched despite warnings from the Council for National Security, the military junta that seized power. PTV executives insisted that if ASTV (a satellite television station run by anti-Thai Rak Thai activist and media tycoon Sondhi Limthongkul) could operate, then so could PTV.PTV's inaugural broadcast on 1 March 2007 was stopped because of CAT Telecom's refusal to grant an internet link from Bangkok to a satellite up-link station in Hong Kong. CAT Telecom claimed that it never received PTV's application for internet access. PTV executives claimed that CAT Chairman and junta leader Saprang Kalayanamitr was preventing it from broadcasting for political reasons.PTV executives led several public protests against the junta's censorship. In a demonstration on 23 March 2007 attended by 1,500-3,000 protestors, thousands of police in riot gear attempted to disperse the protest. The protests caused the junta to request that the government declare emergency rule in Bangkok.

PTV was controversially shut down by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in the early days of the 2010 Thailand political protests.

Shadow Cabinet of Thailand

The Shadow Cabinet of Thailand (Thai: คณะรัฐมนตรีเงา or รัฐบาลเงา) is an unofficial group of senior opposition party's spokespeople who form an alternative cabinet to the government. The shadow cabinet members shadow or mark each individual member of the government. After the People's Power Party's win in the 2007 general election, the Democrat Party became the sole official opposition party. Abhisit Vejjajiva, leader of the Democrat Party, expressed his intention to set up a shadow cabinet to track the new administration's performance, to propose better solutions, and to provide the Democrat's standpoint on each government decision. The shadow cabinet line-up was announced on February 8, 2008 after the Samak's administration had officially assumed office. On the 15 December 2008, Abhisit was elected by the House of Representatives to become the next Prime Minister, within a week a Cabinet will be formed which will include many members his Shadow Cabinet. However a day later the Pheu Thai Party (the opposition party) MP Jatuporn Prompan stated that his party will not be forming a Shadow Cabinet.Although the Leader of the Opposition is an officially appointed position, the shadow cabinet currently bears no legal status. Since May 2014, the Democrat Party has been the Opposition, and its leadership therefore forms the current Shadow Cabinet.

Thai political crisis

Thai political crisis may refer to:

2005–06 Thai political crisis, a series of events that led to a military coup and the removal of Thaksin Shinawatra from power

2008 Thai political crisis, protests against the government of Samak Sundaravej by the People's Alliance for Democracy

2009 Thai political unrest, protests against the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva

2010 Thai political protests, protests against the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva

2013–2014 Thai political crisis, protests against the government of Yingluck Shinawatra by the PDRC

Trairong Suwankiri

Trairong Suwankiri (Thai: ไตรรงค์ สุวรรณคีรี; born June 24, 1944 in Songkhla) is a Thai politician (Democrat Party). He was deputy prime minister in the cabinet of Abhisit Vejjajiva, and vice leader of the Democrats.

Trairong holds a master's degree and a Doctoral degree in Economics of the University of Hawaii.Trairong Suwankiri has started his career as private secretary to Professor Puey Ungpakorn, at this time prominent rector of the Thammasat University. In this function he had to witness the Thammasat University massacre of 6 October 1976.

In 1986 Trairong was for the first time elected to the House of Representatives on the Democrat Party list. Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda appointed him government spokesman. From 1988 to 1991 he was deputy minister of Interior in the administration of Chatichai Choonhavan and from 1992 to 1994 deputy minister of Finance under the first premiership of Chuan Leekpai.He has served as Minister of Industry from 1994 to 1995 in Chuan's first, Minister of Labour from 1997 to 1998 and Deputy Prime Minister in 1999, in his second cabinet. 2005 he was elected vice president of the Democrat Party. From 15 January 2010 to 9 August 2011, he was one of three deputy prime ministers under Abhisit Vejjajiva and in charge of economic affairs.

In parliament and public he is known for his jokes and his heavy Southern accent.

Trairong means tricolour and is the name of the Thai national flag.

Trairong Suwankiri is decorated with the highest class (Knight Grand Cordon) of both the Order of the White Elephant and the Order of the Crown of Thailand.

Truth Today

Truth Today (Thai: ความจริงวันนี้, translit. Kwamjing Wannee) is a Thai political talk show hosted by Veera Musikapong, Jatuporn Prompan and Nattawut Sai-kua. The talkshow began in 2008 during the Samak Sundaravej government on the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand TV station. After Abhisit Vejjajiva was appointed Prime Minister, the talkshow was cancelled by the Abhisit government due to its pro-Thaksin leanings . In 2009 the talkshow began airing again by D-Station.

Wannarat Channukul

Wannarat Channukul (Thai: วรรณรัตน์ ชาญนุกูล, RTGS: Wannarat Channukun; born 8 March 1949 in Nakhon Ratchasima) is a Thai physician and politician. He is the leader of the Chart Pattana Puea Pandin Party. From 2008 to 2011, he was Minister of Energy in the cabinet of Abhisit Vejjajiva. and from 2011 to 2012 Minister of Industry in the cabinet of Yingluck Shinawatra.

Abhisit Vejjajiva
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