For the Thais who don’t like Thaksin, it is a bit gut wrenching to watch Thaksin take center stage as if he were Prime Minister again. His involvement in the political process from which he is banned is clearly past all levels of tolerance from violation of the law, to being an absolute dictator of the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) by openly punishing people who do not follow his absolute commands.
As Connecting the Dots likes to make predictions, this one is a bit tricky to call. There are two strong possibilities here based on how events are unfolding. One possibility comes from the courts and the Election Commission, the other comes from the military.
Both scenarios are meant to stop Thaksin. After all Thaksin acting as he is, popular or not, is in violation of court rulings and the law. For the most part nearly all of our April 2011 post reflect elements of this, so paging through them would be good to read if you are not up to speed on the events.
Scenario 1 the legal approach. What may be going on is the powers to be are simply feeding out to Thaksin and the PTP their own hanging rope. It is overtly clear Thaksin is way too involved in Thai politics. He is way past what anyone would even call comfortable and acceptable as a Thai interacting with elected officials. So this could simply be a process of gathering ample evidence to insure the election hopeful carpet will be pulled out from beneath Thakin’s and the PTP feet.
Scenario 2 is the military (Don’t even think about it) coup approach. That will only become more likely if it appears Thaksin is likely to win and scenario 1 did not materialize. For now the military is only sending a message and looking to see if all the legislation enacted after the 2006 coup will be effective in reigning in out of control self serving politicians.
However if the PTP is elected to power and they look to act like the law does not apply and do everything to circumvent justice being served, there is little doubt in anyone’s mind tanks will once again roll on Thaksin.
With Thaksin interacting with various business people making promises and cutting deals, a psychological approach is being employed that suggest Thaksin’s PTP will win the election, and that just makes the military more on edge. Do they trust that the PTP will actually care to listen to the law that is meant to keep them in check? Based on past behavior, there is a better chance of snow in Bangkok, and that simply encourages a preemptive coup.
When looking at the outcome if Thaksin’s team comes to power, Thailand looks to repeat much of the past 6 years, that much is a no brainer guarantee. However Thaksin will have tried to disable that outcome by renewing old loyalties with people who regularly jump from one camp to the other. That scenario for the most part insures a coup. So the choice is let a paper tiger control Thaksin or use the tried and true Thai method of a coup. That is why this one is so hard to call.