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

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.