Family backgroundThaksin's great-grandfather Seng Sae Khu was a Hakka Chinese immigrant from Meizhou, Guangdong who arrived in Siam in the 1860s and settled in Chiang Mai in 1908. His eldest son, Chiang Sae Khu, was born in 1890 and married a Thai woman, Saeng Somna. Chiang's eldest son, Sak, adopted the Thai surname Shinawatra ("does good routinely") in 1938, and the rest of the family followed suit.
Thaksin's father, Lert, was born in Chiang Mai in 1919 and married Yindi Ramingwong. In 1968, Lert Shinawatra entered politics and became an MP for Chiang Mai.
Seng Sae Khu made his fortune through tax farming. The Khu/Shinawatra family later founded Shinawatra Silks and then moved into finance, construction and property development. Lert Shinawatra opened a coffee shop and several businesses, and grew oranges and flowers in Chiang Mai's San Kamphaeng district. By the time Thaksin was born, the Shinawatra family was one of the richest and most influential in Chiang Mai.
Abhisit Vejjajiva (อภิสิทธิ์ เวชชาชีวะ)
Mr Abhisit's support is drawn mainly from southern Thailand and from Bangkok's educated middle-classes. He has had less success in attracting the support of working class and rural Abhisit married Dr Pimpen Sakuntabhai, a former dentist and now a lecturer at the Department of Mathematics at Chulalongkorn University. They have two children.
The Vejjajivas are a prominent family of Thai Chinese (Hakka) origin who maintained good relationships with the Thai ruling elite from as early as the late 18th century. The family's Chinese surname is Yuan (Chinese: 袁; pinyin: Yuán). In the reign of Rama VI, Yuan-clan Lopburi provincial physician Sub-Lieutenant Dr. Long (Thai: หลง) was given the bestowed the surname "Vejjajiva." Abhisit has two sisters: child psychiatrist Alisa Wacharasindhu and author Ngarmpun Vejjajiva.