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

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.