Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand (since May 22, 2014)
Prayut Chan-o-cha (previously spelt Prayuth Chan-ocha; Thai: ประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา; IPA: [prà.jút tɕān.ʔōː.tɕʰāː]; born 21 March 1954) is a retired Thai army officer who is now (2015) the Prime Minister of Thailand and head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), a military junta that has the power to control the prime minister.
Prayut is a former Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army, the post he held from October 2010 to October 2014. After his appointment as army chief, Prayut was characterised as a strong royalist and an opponent of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Considered a hardliner within the military, he was one of the leading proponents of military crackdowns on the “Red Shirt” demonstrations of April 2009 and April–May 2010. He later sought to moderate his profile, talking to relatives of protesters who were killed in the bloody conflict, and co-operating with the government of Yingluck Shinawatra who won parliamentary election in July 2011.
During the political crisis that began in November 2013 and involved protests against the caretaker government of Yingluck, Prayut claimed that the army was neutral, and would not launch a coup. However, in May 2014, Prayut unexpectedly launched a military coup against the government and then assumed control of the country as NCPO leader. He later issued an interim constitution granting himself sweeping powers and giving himself amnesty for staging the coup. In August 2014, a military-dominated national legislature, whose members were handpicked by Prayut, elected him as the new prime minister.
After seizing power, Prayut launched crackdowns on dissent. He required all students in Thai schools to recite the “twelve values” as formulated by him. He has also banned public discussion about democracy and any criticism of his government.
Yingluck Shinawatra, Former Prime Minister of Thailand (since August 5, 2011)
Yingluck Shinawatra (born 21 June 1967), or nickname Pu, is a Thai businesswoman and politician, member of the Pheu Thai Party, and the 28th Prime Minister of Thailand following the 2011 general election. Yingluck is Thailand’s first female Prime Minister.
Born in Chiang Mai province, Yingluck Shinawatra earned bachelor’s degree from Chiang Mai University and master’s degree from Kentucky State University, both in public administration. She became an executive in the businesses founded by her elder brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, and later became the president of property developer SC Asset and managing director of Advanced Info Service. Meanwhile, her brother Thaksin became Prime Minister, was overthrown in a military coup, and went into self-imposed exile after a tribunal convicted him of abuse of power.
In May 2011, the Pheu Thai Party, which maintained close ties to Thaksin, nominated Yingluck as their candidate for Prime Minister in the 2011 general election. Preliminary election result indicated that Pheu Thai won a landslide victory 265 out of 500-seat House of Representatives of Thailand, making it only the second time in Thai political history that a single party won a parliamentary majority.
Yingluck’s great-grandfather, Seng Saekhu, was a overseas Chinese from Guangdong who arrived in Siam in the 1860s and settled in Chiang Mai in 1908. His eldest son, Chiang Saekhu, was born in Chanthaburi province in 1890 and married a Thai woman, called Saeng Somna. Chiang’s eldest son, Sak, adopted the Thai surname Shinawatra (“routinely appropriate action”) in 1938. The Khu/Shinawatra later founded Shinawatra Silks and then moved into finance, construction and real estate development. Yingluck’s father, Lert, was born at Chiang Mai in 1919 and married Yindi Ramingwong (a daughter of Princess Jantip Na Chiang Mai). In 1968, Lert Shinawatra entered politics and became an MP for Chiang Mai and deputy leader of the now-defunct Liberal party. Left quit politics in 1976 and opened a coffee shop, grew oranges and flowers in Chiang Mai’s San Kamphaeng district, and opened two movie theatres, a gas station, and a car and motorcycle dealership.
Yingluck Shinawatra is the youngest of nine children of Lert and Yindee. She was given the nickname Pou (Thai: ปู, meaning “crab”). Yingluck grew up in Chiang Mai and attended Regina Coeli College, a girls school, at the lower secondary level and then Yupparaj College, a co-ed school, at the upper secondary level. She graduated with a BA degree from the Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration, Chiang Mai University in 1988 and earned a MPA degree (specialization in Management Information Systems) from Kentucky State University in 1991.
Yingluck started her career as a sales and marketing intern at Shinawatra Directories Co., Ltd., a telephone directory business founded by AT&T International. She later became the director of procurement and the director of operations. In 1994, she became the general manager of Rainbow Media, a subsidiary of International Broadcasting Corporation (which later became TrueVisions). She left as Deputy CEO of IBC in 2002, and became the CEO of Advanced Info Service (AIS), Thailand’s largest mobile phone operator. After the sale of Shin Corporation (the parent company of AIS) to Temasek Holdings, Yingluck resigned from AIS, but remained Managing Director of SC Asset Co Ltd, the Shinawatra family property development company. She was investigated by Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission regarding possible insider trading after she sold shares of her AIS stock for a profit prior to the sale of the Shin Corporation to Temasek Holdings. No charges were filed. Yingluck Shinawatra is also a committee member and secretary of the Thaicom Foundation.
She has one son, Supasek, with her common-law husband, Anusorn Amornchat. Anusorn was an executive of the Charoen Pokphand Group and managing director of M Link Asia Corporation PCL. Her sister, Yaowapa Wongsawat, is the wife of former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat.
Abhisit Vejjajiva, Former Prime Minister of Thailand
Abhisit Vejjajiva, born (3 August 1964) is the incumbent Prime Minister of Thailand. He has been the leader of the Democrat Party since February 2005, first serving as opposition leader in the House of Representatives of Thailand, which on 15 December 2008, elected him the 27th Prime Minister of Thailand. Vejjajiva, was formally endorsed by King Bhumibol Adulyadej as Prime Minister on 17 December 2008.Abhisit was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England to a family of Thai physicians. He was educated at Eton and Oxford and successfully ran for MP of Bangkok under the Democrat Party following the 1991 NPKC military coup. He quickly rose through party ranks before failing in a bid to become party leader in 2001. He was appointed party leader after the Democrat Party’s overwhelming defeat in the 2005 elections.
During the 2005-2006 Thai political crisis, Abhisit called for King Bhumibol to find a replacement for then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Under Abhisit’s leadership, senior Democrat Party members accused Thaksin of what they called the Finland Plot, a supposed plan by Thaksin to overthrow Bhumibol. Abhisit boycotted the 2006 elections and by-elections, claiming that the elections were just a means to “divert public attention” from the Shin Corp scandal. Abhisit voiced displeasure at the 2006 coup that overthrew Thaksin, but otherwise did not protest it or the military junta that ruled Thailand for over a year. A fact-finding panel at the Attorney-General’s Office found that the Democrat Party bribed other parties to boycott the 2006 elections to force a constitutional crisis, and voted to dissolve the party. A junta tribunal acquitted Abhisit and the Democrats of the vote fraud charges, while banning Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai party for similar charges. Abhisit supported the junta’s 2007 Constitution, calling it an improvement on the 1997 Constitution. He promised to amend any constitutional deficiencies if he won junta-administered elections in December 2007. However, despite a new populist policy platform, the Democrat Party lost the 2007 election to the People’s Power Party. In the crisis that followed, several senior members of the Democrat Party became leaders of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, which seized Government House, Don Muang Airport, and Suvarnabhumi Airport, while engaging in violent clashes with police and anti-PAD protesters. Abhisit voiced displeasure at sieges, but did not stop his Democrat Party deputies from their roles in the PAD. At the height of the airport sieges, the PAD openly said that the only person they would accept as Premier was Abhisit. The sieges ended when the Constitutional Court banned the People’s Power Party. Several members of the PPP defected to the Democrat Party, allowing Abhisit to form a government and become Prime Minister of Thailand. Army commander and co-leader of the 2006 coup, General Anupong Paochinda, was widely reported to have encouraged or coerced MPs to defect. PAD leader Khamnoon Sitthisamarn and junta-appointed Senator called Abhisit’s premiership a “genuine PAD victory” and a “Anupong-style coup d’etat.”The circumstances of his ascent to power closely linked Abhisit to the Bangkok elite, the Army and the Royal Palace.
Mr. Somchai Wongsawat, Former Prime Minister of Thailand
Date of Birth August 31, 1947
Marital Status Married
Address 100/159 Soi 23/2 Chonlada Village, Bangkruay – Sainoi Rd.,
2002 Master of Public Administration (Public and Private Management
(MPPM)), National Institute of Development Administration
1996 National Defense College of Thailand
1973 Barrister-at-Law, the Thai Bar
1970 Bachelor of Laws, Thammasat University
February 6, 2008 – Present Minister of Education
2008 Committee Member of the Thai Bar under the patronage of His Majesty
2007 Member of the House of Representatives (Party List)
2007 Deputy Leader of People Power Party
March, 8-September, 2006 Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour
November 11, 1999 – March, 2006 Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice
1998-1999 Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice
1997 Chief Justice, Court of Appeal Region II
1993 Justice, Court of Appeal Region III
1990 Chief Justice, Thonburi Criminal Court
1989 Chief Justice, Nonthaburi Court
1988 Chief Justice, Chonburi Court
1987 Chief Justice, Rayong Juvenile Court
1986 Chief Justice, Pang-nga Court
1983 Judge, Chiangrai Court
1977 Judge, Chiangmai Court
1976 Judge, Chiangmai-Kwaeng Court
1975 Judge, Ministry of Justice
1974 Assistant Judge, Ministry of Justice
Chairman of Committee (Laws field), National Research Council of Thailand
Member of Board, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand
Member of Board, Electricity Generating Public Company Limited
Member of Board, Krung Thai Bank Public Company Limited
Member of Board, PTT Public Company Limited
Member of Board, Airport of Thailand Company Limited
Member of Board, Thai Oil Public Company Limited
Member of Committee, Office of the Narcotics Control Board
Member of Committee, Anti Money Laundering Board
Member of Committee, the Council of State
Member of Committee, Board of Royal Thai Police
Member of Committee, the Civil Service Commission
Member of Committee, Attorney Commission
Member of Committee, Judiciary Commission
Member of Committee, the Government Lottery Office
1999 Chakrabarti Mala Medal
1997 Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White
1992 Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown
1989 Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White
1986 Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of
1984 Knight Commander (Second Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White
1980 Knight Commander (Second Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of
Surayut Chulanon, Former Prime Minister of Thailand
Date of Birth
+ 28 August 1943
+ Married to Colonel Khunying Chitravadee Chulanont, WRTA
+ Royal Thai Military Academy (B.S.)
+ Infantry Center School
+ Joint Staff College, Thailand
+ Joint Staff College, USA
+ Resource Management Program, Ministry of Defence, USA
+ National Defence College (1993)
# Privy Councillor (from 14 November 2003)
# Member of the Executive Committee of the Anandamahidol Foundation (2003)
# Supreme Commander
# Commander in Chief, Royal Thai Army
# Commanding General, Second Army Area
# Commanding General, Special Warfare Command
# Knight Grand Commander (Second Class, higher grade) of the Most Illustrious Oder of Chula Chom Kloa (2001)
# Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant (1995)
# Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand (1992)
# Member of “The Rama Medal” of the Honorable Order of Rama (1990)
# Freeman Safeguarding Medal (First Class) (1974)