Mr. Chuan Leekpai

Dates in Office

Term I:  Assembly L:    September 23, 1992 - July 12, 1995
Term II: Assembly LIII: November 9, 1997 - November 17, 2000


Mr. Chuan Leekpai was born in Trang Province, on July 28, 1938.

He received his formal education first at Trang Wittaya School and Silpa Suksa (Silpakorn Demonstration) School. Then, he continued his study at the Faculty of Law, Thammasart University, and obtained his bachelor, in 1962. Later, he receibed his Bar Degree from the Thai Bar Society, before obtaining his Honorary Doctorate (Political Science) from Srinakarinwirot University, in 1985, and Honorary Doctorate (Political Science) from Ramkhamhaeng University, in 1988.

He started his career as lawyer at Chor Chanasongkram Law Firm, after having his degree, but later diverted to the politics. He began his political career, as representative of Trang Province, in 1969, and has been elected, ever since, for 11 terms; 1969, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1992 (2 terms), 1995, 1996.

He was appointed Deputy Minister of Justice, in 1975, Minister to the Office of the Minister, in 1976, Minister of Justice, in 1980, Minister of Commerce, in 1981, Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, in 1982 - 1983, Minister of Education, in 1983 to 1986, Speaker of the House of Representatives, in 1986 to 1988, Minister of Public Health, in 1988 to 1989, Deputy Prime Minister, in 1989 to 1990 and Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, in 1990.

Apart from his political title, Mr. Chuan was also holding important posts in various academic institutions, including, Vice President of Prince Songkla University Council, Honorary Member of Prince Songkla University Council, Special Lecturer (Forensic Medicine), Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Honorary Member of Srinakarinwirot University Council, and Honorary Member of Thammasart University Council.

On September 13, 1992, five parties, namely, Democrat, New Aspiration, Palang Dhamma, Social Action, and Unity, formed the coalition parties and casted unanimous vote to support Mr. Chuan as Prime Minister.

He was thus appointed Prime Minister, on September 20, 1992. During his term, he emphasized, in particular, on the national economic stability, decentralization of the administrative powers to rural provinces, which helped, in turn, fostered income, opportunity, and development distribution to the regions.

However, during the years 1992 to 1995, he was highly criticised over the land reform project, especially for "Sor.Por.Kor. 4-01" documents, which ended up with the dissolution of the Parliament, on May 19, 1995. Later, on July 2, 1995, the General Election was held and Mr. Banharn Silapa-Archa, Thai Nation Party Leader, was appointed Prime Minister.

In late 1996, Mr. Banharn Silapa-Archa left office, following the Royal Decree of Parliament Dissolution, and General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh was appointed Prime Minister and retained the power, until the economic crisis struck the kingdom.

Mr. Chuan Leekpai, supported by other representatives, was re-appointed Prime Minister, on November 9, 1997, when the government of General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh faced the economic crisis. He was the first elected Prime Minister to be in Term II.

He left the office when the Royal Decree of Parliament Closure was vigorized in November 9, 2000.

Biography of Thai Prime Ministers