Now six months in office, Thais are getting a good idea of what Prime Minister Abhisit is all about. For Abhisit it is a bit like having a dog that is not house broken and vandals trashing things in the yard.
Looking at the makeup of what Abhisit has to deal with, he has coalition partners that are still prone to being corrupt, and he has the opposition party that is doing its best to destroy him. Add to that The convicted fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra is doing his best to harm Thailand for self serving reasons, and you can see a good amount of effort is put into keeping the bad guys under control. That is on top of trying to run the country.
From the outside looking at Abhisit, it is clear western governments are impressed with him and his stance on corruption. The desire to make deals with a clean Thai government is so much more appealing at home come election time. That tends to keep those pesky inquiries away that may prove to be embarrassing at the least. You can imagine how it would look at home if you were dealing with a corrupt Thai government.
Also Abhisit’s decisions tend to make a lot of sense. They are thought out and have a sense of logic to them. They are much better than the spontaneous un-thought out corruption driven decisions of past governments. It is Abhisit’s type of thinking that will move Thailand from being a minor player in the world, to at least a mid size player.
On the home front for Abhisit, genuine normal political business seems to be finally getting underway. Depending from where you started counting it could be 6 months when Abhisit took power to 40 months when Thaksin dissolved parliament. The first challenge is looking at the coalition partners, apparently they have a bus leasing deal in the works that is suspected of being loaded with kickbacks. Because Abhisit wants to run a clean graft free government, and some coalition partners have other priorities, there is a bit of friction going on. Political leverage is in play and Abhisit does not seem to want to move from the straight and narrow. So the classic good and evil battle is going on behind the scenes everyday. So it is too soon to cash in his chips yet as this game is still in play.
As for dealing with Thaksin related problems like the Red Shirt riots in April, he was decisive and showed that although he is soft spoken, he can hold his own when dealing with bullies.
So Connecting the Dots will give Abhisit high marks across the board. The next 3 months will be more of a test as the dog tries its best to make a mess in the house and get away with it. The Constitution looks to be ready to do a bit more nibbling, and that is likely to lend more support to Abhisit in the long run. The Thai people are beginning to connect that for money to get down to them, stopping the greedy corrupt politicians is first step.