It is by chance that Mr. Anand Panyarachun, unlike other politicians, came twice into power. The first time was on February 23, 1991, when the National Peace Keeping Council (NPKC), taking advantage of his being well received both by the Thai people and the international community, invited him to take over the responsibility of Prime Minister. General Suchinda Kraprayoon, then commanding the NPKC, had just seized power through a coup d'état, ousting General Chatichai Choonhavan government arguing on its infamous 'buffet cabinet' reputation.

     Relying on an assertive administration and political transparency, his cabinet accomplished important tasks, e.g. the cancellation of the unfair 2 million Telephone Organization of Thailand contract, a new tax structure; as well as reduction of the income tax. In addition, the impact on the country of a large number of important activities in areas such as the environment, government reforms, foreign affairs was well known and impressed all Thais. His method of "transparent administration" became an important concept which is still referred to.

     After the March 1992 general election, five major elected political parties supported General Suchinda Kraprayoon to become Prime Minister. The general public got offended, feeling that the NPKC had finally been able to grab power. Several hundred thousand people gathered to protest, a brutal attempt to stop them led to injuries, death and the disappearance of several hundred people. General Suchinda Kraprayoon was consequently forced to resign.

     To defuse the conflict and provide a solution to the leadership crisis, Mr. Anand Panyarachun, on the recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, was once again appointed as Prime Minister by a Royal decree.

     The Prime Minister relieved the military leaders who played a role in the fatal crisis of May 1992 from their powerful commanding positions. This unanticipated decision brought a satisfactory resolution to the concerns of democratic supporters.

     During Mr. Anand Panyarachun's second tenure as Prime Minister, the nation recovered in less than three months from the decline caused by the recent critical crisis and conflict, in time for the next general election.

Prasan Mareukphithak

Present Roles

Past Roles