National crisis puts leaders to the test

Their response to the street chaos of the past week improved the political fortunes of some. Others found their star had fallen.

By: Soonruth Bunyamanee
Published: 16/04/2009 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: News

In the past week of chaos that shook the people and produced some of the most dramatic scenes played out in this country for many years, some of the key individuals involved saw the sun rise on their political fortunes, while others saw it go down.


Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva: At first he was harshly criticised for his lack of leadership, especially when the Asean summit in Pattaya was interrupted by the red shirt protesters. However, he played the role of leader perfectly in the subsequent chapter, either with backing from someone else or on his own initiative. He took on board the mistakes made in handling the yellow-clad protesters and joined with the military to put up a show of force to disperse those who were breaking the law, and piled on the pressure until the core leaders declared an end to the rally without any fatalities. His actions showed society no group was above the law.