Profile: Abhisit Vejjajiva

Leader of Thailand's Democrat party named country's third prime minister in four months.

    Critics say Abhisit has received help from the military and the anti-Thaksin PAD protest group [AFP]

    In nearly three years as opposition leader, Abhisit's excursions outside Bangkok or the Democrat heartlands of the south were rare and almost always met with hostility, sometimes even in the form of flying rotten vegetables.

    Criticism

    Abhisit says he wants clean government and he denounced the 2006 coup against Thaksin, but critics say he is an opportunist who has received help from the military and the anti-Thaksin People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD).

    He failed to condemn the PAD, even when the demonstrators occupied Bangkok's two airports late last month, and it was his party's decision to boycott a snap election in 2006 that precipitated the constitutional crisis that eventually led to the coup against Thaksin.

    His policies borrow heavily from Thaksin, in particular the commitment to continue the universal public healthcare scheme and cheap rural loans introduced during Thaksin's five years in office.

    Abhisit has also vowed to push for more overseas free trade deals but at the same time reverse Thaksin's partial privatisation of some state firms.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.