Govt's alliance with red shirts stuck on shaky ground
Within the next few months, the government is slated to finalise its decision on the Bt300 billion high-speed train project linking Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Later this year a number of mega-projects, particularly those related to flood control, are likely to move toward being implemented.
The signal is crystal clear - the government is confident it can manage the political risks to ensure stability needed to stay in power and get things done in the long-term.
According to her aides, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has already started planning for a second term.
Projects envisioned by former prime minister Thaksin might come to fruition under the leadership of his sister Yingluck.
Following years of volatility, the ruling Pheu Thai Party is suddenly enjoying political calm because the Shinawatra clan has put off its plan to bring Thaksin home.
Last month, Thaksin made it clear he was in no hurry to end his exile. The clan, including Thaksin's ex-wife Khunying Pojaman na Pombejra and his other sister Yaowapha Wongsawat, made an about-turn to delay his home-coming for the sake of stability.
The rush to push inflammatory issues such as a charter rewrite and an amnesty, designed to pave the way for Thaksin to elude his legal predicament, has been shelved.
But while the ruling party has toned down matters that would provoke the opposition, its alliance with the red shirts is curiously at a low ebb.
The red shirts have set this year as the time to push for an amnesty. Their leader Thida Thawornseth last week unveiled a draft decree on legal absolution for political violence between 2007 and 2011.
Deputy Commerce Minister Natthawut Saikua insisted he had kept the prime minister fully informed about the draft.
But Yingluck voiced puzzlement about such a draft. And Government House officials and the red shirts have not, for the past few weeks, been able to find a suitable date for Thida to present the draft to the prime minister.
The government has set sail to accomplish what it believes it is destined to do and left the red shirts in the lurch.
It remains to be seen whether the red shirts will retaliate or be pliant and cave-in.
Although the government has shifted its ground in order to boost stability, political friction still persists, but not to a degree to disrupt work.
One of the contentious issues is the border dispute near Cambodia's Preah Vihear Temple.
At this juncture, the government and security agencies are united in their approach to tackle the issue.
The patriotic movement, seen as close to the People's Alliance for Democracy, wants the government to explore other options than heeding the verdict of the International Court of Justice. But the movement has yet to sway sufficient support to make its voice heard.
So long as the armed forces rally behind the government, the issue will not spiral out of control even if the ICJ hands down an unfavourable decision for Thailand.
With Thaksin remaining in exile, Pheu Thai and the Democrats will have their ups and downs as usual. But the main opposition party may not have justification to oust the government.
Yingluck is likely to experience calm in steering the government.
But the catch is she will be obliged to appease the red shirts and ensure all her allies have equal access to the pie if she wants to prevent an implosion of her government.