Thaksin Shifts the Focus to Himself

This was a strange few days for Thaksin.

For months all eyes were on Gen. Prayuth. The narrative for Thailand had been about the “paranoid” general, his supposedly slipping power, and how a return to democracy must immediately happen to improve the economy.

Then came the Thaksin interview from Seoul (Thaksin says Privy Council ordered Suthep to protest and the military to stage a coup) that cast events in the same Thaksin-centric light that has been defining politics since before the coup in 2006.

Coupled with the emergence of old hand Chavalit to show solidarity with the Red Shirts, these moves by Thaksin are the same sorts of gambits he has been running since before the 2006 coup.

For those waiting to see a pro-Thaksin strategy emerge, Thaksin’s statements are nothing new at all, and only provided a perfect pretext to shift the focus from the junta to Thaksin and seize his passports at the same time.

The Red Shirt demand for a referendum also backfired. After acceding to the referendum, elections were pushed back at least six more months and promises were made that the military would maintain power in the event of a “no” vote to manage the drafting of a updated charter.

All of this also shows there are no backstage negotiations going on. The military is simply showing its resolve, not to the Thai public or international community, but to the political class, that it has the ability to resist Thaksin influence this time.

Thaksin may face lese majeste charge – Bangkok Post, May 27, 2015

Thai Govt Revokes Thaksin’s Passports, Citing ‘Damaging’ Interview – Khaosod, May 27, 2015

Thaksin raps coup ‘masterminds’ – Bangkok Post, May 22, 2015
…”The armed forces listen to privy counsellors. When they did not want us to stay in power, they ordered Suthep (Thaugsuban) to come out and ordered the armed forces to help (Suthep),” Thaksin told Choson Media in Seoul on Wednesday…

And meanwhile: Thai elections pushed back to Sept 2016: Junta – AFP, May 27, 2015

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