Yingluck's govt faces three key challenges
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is encountering political turbulence which can lead to drastic changes for her as well as her government.
How three variables will pan out in the next few months is very critical to how well Yingluck can emerge from the disturbances coming her way.
The first variable is her brother Thaksin. The second is the amnesty issue. And the third is the legislative bill for the Bt2.2 trillion loan.
Of the three, Thaksin is most crucial in determining the fate of his sister.
Make no mistake, the two remain as tight as ever. Yingluck would hardly miss a day without calling her brother.
For more than a year, Thaksin chose to play second fiddle in a bid to dispel suspicion that Yingluck was his puppet.
But in coming weeks, he will start putting himself at centre stage.
Although there is no rift between the sigblings, Thaksin has been very disappointed with Yingluck's failure to secure Pheu Thai's victory in Bangkok.
Her aides, particularly Phutham Wechayachai and Suranand Vejjajiva, are working overtime to engineer a re-vote. But even if they succeed, all signs still point to Democrat Sukhumbhand Paribatra emerging as winner again.
In Yingluck's view, the re-vote, if held and regardless of outcome, might help mollify Thaksin.
Yingluck and her top aides are well aware that the government would be on a downward spiral once Thaksin refuses to stay on the sidelines.
In his two Skype messages to Pheu Thai this week, Thaksin talked about a wide range of issues. But party insiders knew that his true intent was to revamp the Cabinet. This is why Suranand has been very vocal in dismissing speculation about the Cabinet line-up.
It is an open secret that Thaksin is unhappy with several ministers. If he dictates the Cabinet reshuffle at this juncture, the prime minister would be seen downgraded from puppet with a say to a mute one.
Yingluck is expected to turn on her sisterly charms in order to convince her brother to end his megaphone politicking within Pheu Thai. If she fails, then her leadership might fast disintegrate.
The amnesty issue is another variable that could be catastrophic. Yingluck wants no involvement in debating the amnesty, insisting that the issue should be settled by the legislature.
But two disturbances - a legislative move to push for legal absolution and Thaksin's move to tilt toward the reds at the government's expense - threaten to send her leadership into a tailspin.
This has already stirred up confusion among Pheu Thai ranks and if it continues, legislative deliberations on two issues - amnesty and the Bt2.2 trillion loan - might converge to form a perfect storm beating on the government.
For the third variable, the passage of the Bt2.2 trillion bill will hinge on the unity within Pheu Thai. Isaan MPs are expected to play a crucial role in the success or failure of the bill.
At this juncture, Yingluck still has the upper hand to ensure the legislative passage. But she should not relax her guard as certain MPs from her party appear to strike a different chord from that of the government's.