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Abhisit Vejjajiva(äpē`sĭt wāchä`chēwä), 1964–, Thai politician, prime minister of Thailand (2008–11), b. Newcastle, England. Born into a wealthy Thai-Chinese family, Abhisit was educated in England and Thailand and held several British and Thai university teaching posts prior to entering politics. In 1992 he joined Thailand's Democrat party and won a parliamentary seat. Deputy party leader from 1999, he ran unsuccessfully for the party leadership post in 2001 but was elected party leader four years later. A longstanding opponent of corruption, he objected to the 2006 coup that deposed Prime Minister Thaksin ShinawatraThaksin Shinawatra
, 1949–, Thai business executive and political leader, b. Chiang Mai. Born into a wealthy merchant family, he went into the Thai police service in 1973 and continued his criminal-justice education in the United States.
..... Click the link for more information. , his political opponent. In Dec., 2008, after two of Thaksin's allies had been removed as prime minister by court decisions, Abhisit and the opposition Democrats secured the opportunity to form a government. His government faced serious challenges in the streets from Thaksin supporters seeking to force him to resign, and it was defeated in the 2011 elections by Yingluck ShinawatraYingluck Shinawatra
1967–, Thai business executive and political leader, first female prime minister of Thailand (2011–14), grad. Chiang Mai Univ. (B.A., 1988), Kentucky State Univ. (M.P.A., 1991).
..... Click the link for more information. , Thaksin's sister, and the For Thais party. In 2013 Abhisit was charged with murder for issuing orders to security forces during demonstrations in 2010 that led to shooting deaths, but the criminal court dismissed the charges after Yingluck's government was overthrown.