The Downfall of Thaksin Shinawatra’s CEO-state – nautilus.org
…Once in government Thaksin relied on the strong executive created by the 1997 reforms to push through his policies. However, he was hostile to the independent commissions established by the reforms. Even before he became Prime Minister, they had subjected his financial affairs to unwelcome scrutiny. Under the new laws, politicians had to declare all their assets. Thaksin divested himself of his personal wealth by giving it away – to his wife, his children, and to his household servants. This was universally believed to be no more than a ruse. A corruption investigation charged that Thaksin had acted dishonestly and illegally, and was unfit to hold public office. He challenged this and the courts ruled in his favour. From that point on, Thaksin regarded Thailand’s watchdog agencies as enemies, and sought to emasculate them at every opportunity.
Thaksin was a pragmatist, and his approach to government was generally cautious. He introduced the restructuring he wanted in piecemeal ways rather than in a “big bang”. Nevertheless, the pattern became clear within a couple of years. In keeping with the new management theories he had imbibed, this involved devolving responsibility while centralising power in the hands of senior politicians, his own in particular. Thaksin acquired unprecedented powers of patronage, and he used them to punish opponents and reward supporters. Those he rewarded frequently turned out to be members of the Shinawatra clan, friends from his cadet school class, or business associates…
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- While keeping a votive tablet in the mouth
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