New Thai prime minister elected – divisions between rich and poor remain

December 15, 2008

BANGKOK, Thailand (ChattahBox) — 44-year-old Abhisit Vejjajiva became Thailand’s prime minister on Monday. The Oxford educated Abhisit, who heads the former opposition Democrat Party, defeated a loyalist of exiled but still powerful ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a parliamentary vote.  The vote came in the wake of mass protests by anti-Thaksin forces that included a weeklong siege of Bangkok’s airports.

Born in England and educated at Eton and Oxford, where he earned an honors degree in philosophy, politics and economics, the new prime minister comes from a wealthy family of Thai-Chinese origin. His first name means “privilege” in Thai but his friends call him by his foreign nickname, Mark. He joined the country’s oldest party, the Democrats, in 1992 and became one of the youngest ever members of Parliament. Abhisit, who entered politics at the age of 27, lost his chance for the job in 2007, when the Democrats failed to win over the rural masses in general elections.

Abhisit assumed the party’s leadership in 2005. He rose in the party ranks and in popularity, especially among the educated in Bangkok who took to his movie-star looks, clean record, polite demeanor, and articulate if somewhat bland speeches. In recent years, the party has maintained its strongholds in Bangkok and southern Thailand but made little inroads into the populous, poor northeast, where elections are normally won or lost, often through massive vote-buying. With the country still divided among the rich and poor, Thaksin’s supporters, have vowed to take to the streets themselves in protest. Meanwhile Abhisit must also grapple with a dramatic economic downturn and keep intact the fragile coalition of small parties that brought him to power.


Comments

One Response to “New Thai prime minister elected – divisions between rich and poor remain”

  1. avinash singh on December 17th, 2008 9:12 am

    I wish him the best wishes for his appointment as a prime minister but he has a very important role to play for thai people and this is ojnly happen when he will make this government of the people , for the people and by the poeple.
    This is my prayer to God for him to guide and make this thing happen. I am from different country and I do not know so much but this is the time where thailand people need the stable government .
    SO BETTER SOLUTION IS THAT PRIME MINISTER WITH OPPOSITION AND HEAR THEM AND FIND OUT MAIN THING TO SOLVE AND ANY OPPOSITION SHOULD NOT AFFECT THE ECONOMY OF THE COUNTRY BECAUSE ONLY THAI PEOPLE IS GOING TO SUFFER.
    SO THEY CAN UNDERSTAND THIS SITUATION AND COME TO GETHER AND UNITE THEMSELVES. THERE ARE DIFFERENT WAYS TO DO THE OPPOSITION. SO AS A PERSON WHO COMES HERE AS A TOURIST JUST THINK LIKE THAT. IF YOU HURT IT PLEASE FORGIVE ME AND IF YOU THINK IT IS HELPFUL THAN IT IS MY PRIVILIGE.

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