Posts Tagged ‘The Eel’

Thailand Political Players 2006

December 5, 2009

If you live in Thailand or have read about this country in the last months, you know that the political situation is quite messy. It is so messy that it would certainly take more than 900 words to describe the situation fully. The best I can do is at least tell you who some of the players in this mess:

  1. Thaksin Shinawatra: The last official prime minister of Thailand and the instigator of the mess. He was a police officer in Chaing Mai, Thailand, and resigned from the ranks to start his own company, using his police contacts. His company was the Shin Corporation and it became the biggest corporation in Thailand by running a mobile call service called AIS. For some reason, he stepped down from this company and he started a political party called Thai Rak Thai Party (TRT) (rak meaning love in Thai). He became the prime minister in 2001 and did a lot of things that eventually would cost him his job. He viciously put down his critics. He called NGOs (non-government organizations) lazy lunatics when they didn’t like what he was doing. When there was a drug war by the government in 2003 that killed 3000 people and the UN human rights complained, he said that the UN was not his father. He had some scandals. The Burmese government bought a Shinawatra Corp. satellite with a loan from the Thai government. The buying of a bomb detector in the new international airport in Bangkok was very suspicious. The big scandal that brought him down was Temasek, a Singapore company, It bought Shinawatra Corp. for 1.9 billion dollars and he had to pay no taxes. This is when the Thai people finally got angry and he had to resign as prime minister.
  2. Chavalit: A former prime minister who is partly responsible for the Thai economy collapsing in 1997. He became a part of the TRT government as a Deputy Prime Minister. Thai soldiers were inspecting bombs at an arsenal and accidentally caused one of them to explode, destroying a nearby village, When he went to the village, he criticized the villagers for living too close to the village. He retired then he rejoined the government to help the government help fight poverty despite his bungling of the economy in 1997
  3. Chalerm: A mobster who occasionally gets involved in politics. He has three sons. Two of them who are police officers spent 5 years starting fights in Thai bars. The only thing that stopped them was that bar owners were beginning to bar them from their establishments unless they stopped their fighting ways. The youngest son was accused of killing a cop in a nightclub and was found not guilty due to lack of evidence even though he did it in front of 200 people. He ran for the governor of Bangkok in the last election and lost. What he is currently doing has not been reported by the newspapers.
  4. Chuwit: He bribed police officers and military people to demolish property that he was having legal problems with. He was not punished for this act and actually became famous for this act. He became a politician and ran for the governor of Bangkok. He lost. He formed his own political party then quickly dissolved it to join a more established party. He became a Thai Senator and he is a not Senator now because he did not run in the last election due to more legal problems. Once his problems are resolved, he will probably come back. He did run for governor again, but had to stop because he punched a reporter. 
  5. Samak: The last governor of Bangkok and future Thai Senate speaker. As governor, he did not very interested in the position; he seemed more interested in his cooking show. He had a website that was devoted to his cooking show, not the Bangkok government. He said that the Bangkok flooding was due to mother nature. He said that all rubbish bins should be removed to beautify the city of Bangkok during a summit of world leaders that was held in Bangkok once. A year before the end of his term, he said that the problems of Bangkok were too much for him. He did not run for governor and ran for the Senate this year. He won.
  6. Apirat: The current governor who actually seems to do constructive things for the city of Bangkok and has not made any strange statements or has had any scandals.
  7. Abhisit: The head of the Democratic Party and wants to be the next prime minister when they resolve the mess caused by Thaksin’s resignation. He seems to be competent and has not done anything to question his competency.     
  8. Banharn Silpa-archa: The head of the Chart Thai Party. His nickname is The Eel. His party usually forms a coalition with the party that has the most seats, but not enough to dominate Parliament. It makes sure that his party is part of the people in charge. It does mean that you are never sure what he is going to do. He is slippery like an eel.