The Thaksin Shinawatra fallback plan is starting to emerge. It is clear Thaksin is giving some serious consideration to a fallback plan if he is convicted. The conviction of his wife in July sent a clear message to Thaksin. That clear message is he can expect a fair trial, and that is not good news for Thaksin.
The recent headlines saying that Thaksin is planning on selling Manchester City has sent a ripple through two countries. One country interested in good sporting entertainment, and another country in seeing that justice is served. In this case Justice being served means the criminal conviction of Thaksin.
The fact that Thaksin is denying he plans to sell Manchester City simply means he is planning to sell. Thaksin almost always says opposite of what his intent is. The sale will have a front story about money, but in actuality it is more about his image abroad.
Thaksin has found that the International media has helped him. This is true providing he only made statements or had powder puff interviews. Also keeping a high public profile helped Thaksin maintain popularity with his supporters. The purchase of Manchester City provided him with a renewable platform that he could be seen doing nice things for cheering Manchester fans. In this case it is the image that counts.
If Thaksin is convicted in Thailand he would be forced to Sell Manchester City, and that would be a huge loss of face all the way around. Thaksin would no longer meet the requirements of the ‘fit and proper person’. For Thaksin’s future image, it is best to sell and step down and not be taken down. That is one headline he can do without if he plans to come back into Thai politics.
That in itself says 3 things. First Thaksin expects there is a good chance he will be convicted. Second Thaksin plans to be nowhere near Thailand when the verdict is read. Third is Thaksin has not given up in trying to be the dictator of Thailand and will try to influence events from abroad.
If Thaksin would not be removed from Manchester if convicted, the sale of Manchester would not even be considered. So Thaksin is planning several steps ahead as any good business man would and should. Thaksin sees problems ahead and the chance of buying off the court is minimal to non existent at best. Three of his lawyers are doing time for that already. Thaksin needs another platform other than Manchester, so Manchester must go. That was no doubt decided in the first 24 hours after his wife’s conviction. Thaksin’s body language in court directly after the conviction exactly matches this. He was more concerned about himself and not his family.
If Thaksin sees the likelihood of his conviction, then no doubt the People Power Party (PPP) is falling into chaos and panic if they have already figured this out. Attempts at Changing the Constitution will be increased as it seems the only possible self saving answer if Thaksin is gone.
Thaksin will not give up as it is against his nature, he will simply come at things from another approach. It is too soon to say what that will be as no verdict has been read yet, but certainly it will be from other than Thai soil.