15 Dec 2008

Opposition leader voted next Thai prime minister

8:38 pm on 15 December 2008

Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has won a vote in Thailand's parliament to become the next prime minister.

He is Thailand's third prime minister in four months.

The country's leadership has been challenged in the courts and in the streets and security is tight in key locations in Thailand.

Pro-government supporters blockaded parliament in Bangkok to protest against the vote, which has put the Democrat Party into power.

According to a tally of votes, the Oxford-educated economist won the support of 234 MPs from a range of parties. Mr Abhisit needed 219 to become prime minister.

The vote came two weeks after the courts sacked Somchai Wongsawat, as his People Power Party was found guilty of fraud in the December 2007 election that brought it to power.