Categories
Misc.

Thailand has a new prime minister

AP: “Thai opposition leader becomes prime minister

Lawmakers chose an opposition leader as Thailand’s prime minister Monday in a bid to end months of political chaos, as supporters of the previous government unsuccessfully tried to halt the result by blockading Parliament.

The articulate, Oxford-educated Abhisit Vejjajiva, who heads the Democrat Party, gathered 235 votes against 198 by former national police chief Pracha Promnok, a loyalist of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The lower house vote followed six months of instability caused by anti-government and anti-Thaksin demonstrations that culminated last month with a weeklong takeover of Bangkok’s two airports.

The selection of a new prime minister was expected to calm the country’s politics, at least temporarily. However, several hundred Thaksin supporters tried to block the gates of Parliament in a last-ditch attempt to prevent the outcome. Riot police later cleared a path for lawmakers to leave the compound.

And a snip from the end of the story:

Abhisit and his party enjoy strong support from the middle class and many in the business sector. But Sukhum Nuansakul, a political scientist at Bangkok’s Ramkhamhaeng University, said the hopes of many for a respite from political instability was likely to be short-lived.

“The fundamental problem has not been resolved,” Sukhum said. “A Democrat win sets the stage for another round of street protests, this time by pro-Thaksin groups.”

Panithan Wattanayagorn, a political analyst from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, predicted that Abhisit was going to face “among Thailand’s roughest premierships.”

By Newley

Hi. I'm Newley Purnell. I cover technology and business for The Wall Street Journal. I use this site to share my stories and often blog about the books I'm reading, tech trends, sports, travel, and our dog Ginger. For updates, get my weekly email newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *