The last thing Thaksin did before he left for New York in September 2006 was to give orders putting the military under his complete control. This was to be done by placing loyal Thaksin supporters in key posts, and anti Thaksin people in inactive posts. The PAD rally was getting stronger and rumors of thousands of armed Thaksin supporters planning an attack on the PAD rally was the reality of September 18, 2006 in Bangkok.
Up to this point Thaksin had left the country on edge with high levels of anxiety and deep divisions. Thaksin was using every dirty trick he could think of. The levels of lowness Thaksin found were actually deeper than many could have imagined possible. The country was being driven to the point of civil war between the pro and anti Thaksin groups, and this all played into Thaksin’s hands as it would allow him the excuse to declare a state of emergency effectively making him a dictator. Because of the checks and balances removed by Thaksin earlier, there was little to stop him.
This all proved to be too much and on September 19, 2006 the military staged a bloodless coup. The coup was greeted with yellow ribbons, flowers and exuberant joy. The members of Thaksin’s government fled the country fearing reprisal, however the only violence between the day of the coup and the seating of the new elected government in 2008 came from Thaksin supporters.
In the first three months after the coup Thaksin was silent for the most part except for the announcement he was retiring from politics. However as Thaksin tends to state just the opposite from the truth, retiring from politics was the furthest thing from the truth there could be. Thaksin was very active behind the scenes setting the stage for his return to power.
Also during the first three months the Thai junta set about restoring democracy and routing out Thaksin’s tentacles of power that were deep in every branch of government. Investigative bodies were formed to locate and recover graft money. To date 180,000,000,000 Baht has been identified at tied to the corruption of the Thaksin regime.
In the first half of 2007 the appointed Thai government did it’s best to get Thailand back on it’s feet. There was deliberate sabotage attempts by Thaksin loyalists during this time. The drafting of a new and more powerful constitution was underway, and much of Thaksin’s money was being frozen pending the paying of the huge Shin Tax bill.
On May 30, 2007 Thaksin’s party was dissolved due to buying votes, people, and parties. Thaksin was Banned from Politics for 5 years along with 110 other people from that party.
The walls were starting to close in on Thaksin as more and more graft was being uncovered, he was indicted for crimes and faces several years in jail if convicted.
In the mean time Thaksin purchased Manchester City football club and kept a very high profile portraying the nice guy and a person to be modeled after. Again with Thaksin this is totally opposite of the truth. This later came crashing down on him once the fans got a taste of what Thaksin is really like.
Between July and September the new constitution was competed and a referendum vote was planned for August. The pro Thaksin team set out to Isaan to buy people votes and tell them the constitution was bad. When the election was said and done, the entire country accepted the constitution except for the Isaan area with a very out of proportion vote result. It was very clear Thaksin had bought the votes for that part of the country. Nobody else had pockets deep enough to do that or would have reason to.
In the last 3 months of 2007 campaigning and new elections were held in December. Most of the voting irregularities came again from the party associated with Thaksin called the “Peoples Power Party” (PPP) as for the most part everyone else played by the rules.
So in summary Thaksin tends to be behind the dark side of things in Thailand. The love/hate Thaksin dividing line is very clearly drawn along the lines of educational attainment. The more educated people are, they less they like Thaksin. The line seems to be around mid highschool level. Because Thaksin has so polarized the country, it looks to be impossible for any sense of normalcy when he is around. As a result of Thaksin’s greed and desire to rule Thailand, the people continue to suffer. That huge mass of undereducated voters in Isaan that are still loyal to Thaksin are making it a difficult task. Is there any wonder why Thaksin’s government made the Thai education system one of the most laughable in the world, as student can sleep everyday in the back of the classroom and still pass. Keeping his voter base undereducated is key for Thaksin.