Tuesday, 16 December 2008

New Thai PM appointed

After months of tension a new PM has been appointed, but the unrest looks set to continue.

UK-born, Eton/Oxford educated Abhisit Vejjajiva, of the Democrat party, won a tightly fought contest 235 to 198 (votes from the parliamentary house not an open democratic vote).

His appointment is a massive victory for the middle-classes and PAD protesters who had feared the further influence of Thaksin Shinawatra. Although in exile Shinawatra sent a pre-recorded message to a pre-election PPP party (rivals to the Democrats) rally. Part of the message included a plea for the PM vote to be made by elected officials with no outside influence, such as the army who was responsible for ousting Shinawatra in a coup in 2006.

In reaction to the appointment of Abhisit red shirted PPP/Thaksin supporters took to the streets of Bangkok in protest, with violence and casualties reported.

Politics in Thailand is entering a new era, the new appointment will considerably more stability. However it remains to be seen whether the Red (pro-Thaksin) and Yellow (PAD, anti-Thaksin) rivalry will cool into a political one, as situation voiced in last week's banned Economist article.

Given the growing hatred, the issues at stake and the aggressive/extreme tactics adopted by the PAD, it seems unlikely that the Red corner will take this set-back lying down.

1 comment:

X said...

he's a "lifelong newcastle united fan" - surely that means he'll stay for 3 weeks, realise he can't make thailand have the world's highest GDP before the end of the season and then just quit the job ?