General Chatichai Junhavan

Dates in Office

Term I:  Assembly XLV:  August 4, 1988 - December 9, 1990
Term II: Assembly XLVI: December 9, 1990 - February 23, 1991


General Chatichai Junhavan was born in Bangkok, on April 5, 1920, son of Field Marshal Phin Junhavan and Khunying Wibhulak Junhavan. He later married Than Phuying Boonruen Junhavan (Sopoj).

He received his formal education at Devasirin School, Chula Chom Klao Army Cadet Academy, Cavalry School, and Armor School, Kentucky, United States of America.

He served the Royal Army, first in 1940, as Platoon Leader, Royal Bodyguard Cavalry Battalion I, and, Troop Leader, Cavalry Battalion I of the Army Chief Department, respectively. In 1949, he was appointed Attache to the Army Diplomatatic Mission, Washington D.C., United States of America, before returning to be Battalion Leader, Cavalry Battalion I, Commander of Armor School, Commander of Cavalry Regiment II, and Commander-in-Chief of Armor School.

From 1958, his career path was pure diplomatic. He was appointed Ambassador to Argentina, Austria, Turkey, the Holy See and the United Nations, respectively.

In 1972, he returned to Thailand to take office as Director of Political Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 1975, he was elected Representative of Nakhon Ratchasima and was re-elected in four more occasions.

His political realm really started, during the term of Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, when he was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also served during various governments as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Industry and Deputy Prime Minister.

He was finally appointed Prime Minister in 1988, when Thai Nation Party, of which he was leader, won the General Eelection.

His many achivements included "Altering Battle Fields into Trading Field" Scheme, in dealing with the Indochinese neighbouring countries, quarter-lateral negotiation for Cambodia, as to cease the battles, support for Sihanouk-led government, and many infrastructure projects (Three-Million Telephone Numbers, Southern Seaboard, Elevated Railways Elevated Highways, and, Mass Rapid Transit Authority, in Greater Bangkok Area)

He left office when the National Council for State Security, led by General Soonthorn Kongsompong, General Suchinda Kraprayoon, General Issarapong Noonpakdee and Air Chief Marshal Kaset Rojananin, took control of the administration. He went on exile to the United Kingdom for a while, before returning to Thailand.

After his return, he formed Chart Pattana Party and was elected representative of Nakhon Ratchasima. He had always been active in politics until he passed away on May 6, 1998, at the age of 78.

Biography of Thai Prime Ministers