Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Profile: Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva

BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is scheduled to pay an official visit to China on June 24-27 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Abhisit was born in 1964 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, to an elite family from Bangkok. His parents are both medical professors and his father once served as Deputy Minister of Public Health in Thailand.

He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and later obtained a Master's Degree in Economics from Oxford University in Britain.

Abhisit began his political career in 1992 as a Democrat MP for Bangkok constituency. He was reelected to the same seat in 1995 and 1996.

In the elections of 2001 and 2005, he won his seat at the House of Representatives as a Party List MP for the Democrat Party.

He has served as Democrat Party spokesman, government spokesman, Deputy-Secretary to the Prime Minister for Political Affairs, Chairman of the House Education Affairs Committee, and Minister to the Prime Minister's Office.

In 2005, Abhisit was chosen as Democrat Party leader to replace Banyat Bantadtan who resigned following a flat defeat by Thaksin Shinawatra's Thai Rak Thai party in the 2005 general election.

Abhisit was elected as Thailand's 27th Prime Minister on Dec. 15 last year at a special House voting session.

He married Dr Pimpen Sakuntabhai, a former dentist and now a lecturer at the Department of Mathematics at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. They have two children.

Editor: Wang Hongjiang

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