Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Samak Sundaravej, 1935-2009. R.I.P.

Former Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej has died of liver cancer. He was 74.

Samak was a mainstay in Thai politics for more than four decades and was a dedicated anti-Communist. Yet he might be the only leader of a country who was ousted from office for hosting a television cooking show. In September 2008, Thailand's Constitutional Court removed Samak from his post for holding private employment (his cooking show.) It appeared the Thai Parliament would re-appoint him as Prime Minister but pressure began to mount and Samak stepped aside. Whether one thinks Samak got a raw deal he was succeeded by Somchai Wongsawat. Less than three months later, the Constitutional Court would remove Somchai from the Premiership and has banned from public life for the next five years. Abhisit Vejjaviva is Thailand's current Prime Minister and has been in office just over 11 months - longer than Samak and Songchai combined.

Thai politics, like its food, is never dull.

No comments: