26 April, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 12/15/2008
THAILAND
Abhisit Vejjajiva is the new prime minister of Thailand
by Weena Kowitwanij
In a special session parliament elects Democrat Party leader by 37 votes against Pracha Promnok, backed by the old coalition government. Abhisit will be the fifth prime minister in just over two years. His election provokes protests by supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) – Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva is the new prime minister of Thailand. This morning the Thai parliament in a special session picked the opposition leader who beat by 37 votes rival Pracha Promnok, a former policeman supported by the parties that belonged to the old coalition government. Abhisit Vejjajiva, who will be Thailand’s fifth prime minister in just two years, got 235 votes against 198 for Pracha Promnok, head of the Puea Pandin party.

Born in Newcastle, Great Britain, on 3 August 1964, Abhisit Vejjajiva is an Oxford graduate in political science and economics. At 44 he is among the youngest political leaders in the country to become prime minister. In 1995 he served as spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office. In 1999 he became Democrat Party deputy chief, rising to the leadership in 2005.

His priorities now include organising the ASEAN summit, originally scheduled for this month but postponed to February because of threats to public order. He will also have to tackle the country’s economic crisis, made worse by months of political stalemate and bring back trust in the country’s institutions.

Over the next few days the new speaker of parliament, Chai Chidchob, will submit to the king the results of the vote and get the sovereign’s approval to have the new prime minister form the new government.

Outgoing Prime Minister Chaowarat Chanvorakul, who heads the transitional government backed by the Pheu Thai Party, which replaced the People Power Party (PPP) banned by the Supreme Court earlier this month on corruption charges, will try his last chance, that of dissolving parliament before the king picks the date for the new government and new elections.

Exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has accused the army of using the judges to overthrow the government, calling on the military to stay out of the country’s politics.

In the last few days members of the former government have accused the leaders of the armed forces of not intervening to block protests in the capital. Former PPP leaders have said that the army backed a “stealth coup” to overthrow the majority elected democratically by the people.

The election of the new prime minister has unleashed protests by supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who have set up road blocks near parliament, broken the windows of cars parked nearby and laid siege to members of parliament inside the building.

For the past two years Thailand has been at the centre of an endless political crisis. In September 2006 the military threw out then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, accusing him of corruption and forcing him into exile in London.

In January 2008 Samak Sundaravej was elected prime minister. He led the PPP, a party made up mostly of former members of Thaksin’sThai Rak Thai Party. He had to quit last September over payments he received for taking part in a TV cooking show.

In the meantime the leaders of the opposition People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) took over government buildings in Bangkok demanding the resignation of the government, the dissolution of parliament and new elections.

On 17 September the ruling party picked Thaksin’s brother-in-love Somchai Wongsawat as the new prime minister, provoking a fresh round of protests around the country which turned violent. The worst incidents took place on 7 October when two people died as a result of clashes between anti-government protesters and police.

On 2 December the Constitutional Court ordered the dissolution of the ruling People’s Power Party, and two other smaller partiers in the former coalition government.

Support for Abhisit Vejjajiva and the Democrat Party is found primarily in the southern part of the country and among middle class voters in the capital.

The new prime minister is closely linked to Bangkok’s Conservative establishment, the army and the Royal Palace.

Exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and the dissolved PPP have instead strong support in northern Thailand and among rural voters, but are loathed by the country’s cultural elite and bourgeoisie.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/17/2008 THAILAND
Somchai Wongsawat new Thai prime minister
by Weena Kowitwanij
01/30/2008 THAILAND
Upbeat, Sundaravej announces his new cabinet
10/07/2008 THAILAND
New government takes over in Bangkok amidst barricades, teargas and 60 wounded
11/08/2007 THAILAND
First post-coup elections underway
by Weena Kowitwanij
04/05/2006 THAILAND
Opposition wants Thaksin to step aside . . . for good
by Weena Kowitwanij

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope remembers and prays for "latest tragedy" of migrants, "our brothers and sisters" who "are seeking happiness"At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says he is praying for the hundreds of victims in a sinking off the coast of Libya. An appeal to the international community to "act decisively and promptly." "Every baptized person is called to witness in word and deed, that Jesus is risen, He is alive and present in our midst." The Christian message "is not a theory, an ideology or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions, or moralism, but a message of salvation, a concrete event, even a person: the Risen Christ, the living and only Savior of all" . The Pope will be in Turin on June 21 to honor the Shroud, the exposition of which begins today.
SAUDI ARABIA – YEMEN
Saudi war in Yemen masks widening domestic tensions
by Afshin ShahiSaudi Arabia is using the conflict in Yemen to control domestic problems, especially social inequalities and religious sectarianism. However, whilst the royal family flaunts its wealth, some 20 per cent of the population lives in poverty. Many disgruntled young Saudis end up becoming "foreign fighters" for the Islamic state (IS). Some 15 per cent of the Saudi population is Shia, under the heavy thumb of the Sunni-dominated state. Afshin Shahi, director of the Centre for the Study of Political Islam and lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics at University of Bradford, provides the following lucid analysis.
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.