Thai Leader Bows Out, Market Applauds

When Thai billionaire businessman Thaksin Shinawatra swept into power in 2001, he promised to be a "CEO Prime Minister." Thailand prospered, and 13 months ago he and his ruling Thai Rak Thai party pulled off a stunning landslide victory. In a nation known for an ineffectual, revolving-door government, Thaksin became the first prime minister ever to win an outright majority. Not so long ago, Thaksin had real ambitions to emerge as Southeast Asia's most influential leader.

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