Which one is better, Thaksin the businessman or Suthep the politician?
Frankly, I am not comfortable with either. I learned that Thaksin Shinawatra can’t be trusted after watching him in action as prime minister. Before the coup, I was concerned he was about to get too much control over Thailand. Apparently the military shared those concerns and threw him out of office for corruption. Thaksin was shocked that corruption was not acceptable and asked how else would anyone get into politics. He might be right, but he had stepped on a lot of influential toes and they wanted him out.
Staging a coup might have worked temporarily, but he is still pulling strings. Thaksin’s attempt to engender a general amnesty for himself that would also include Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban of the rival Democrat Party backfired and turned many people against him.
Suthep has since gone after Thaksin with a vengeance, quitting the Democrat Party to lead the People’s Democratic Reform Committee. But what “people”? Sixty-one per cent of Thais are from the Northeast, which the Democrats have historically pretty much ignored. Thaksin knew that, so he courted them. And that is why his party always wins. Suthep wants to stop the election because he knows that Thaksin’s party will most likely win again.
As for “democratic reform”, come on! Suthep has been a leading light in the Democrat Party for years. Why, now, is he suddenly concerned about democratic reform? He is not concerned about the people or the image of Thailand. He is only interested in being the leader of his own movement, a mob. He has got what he wanted, and has little or no concern of the effect his actions are having on Thailand.