Last week I had a lengthy overview of Thai politics published at Inside Story. There are a few different sections that will be of interest to New Mandala readers. I conclude that:
Under these circumstances the final months of 2012 are likely to see more aggressive efforts by Thaksin to return to the kingdom. He will not want to miss an opportunity to pay his final respects to King Bhumibol. It is easy to overlook Thaksin’s own royalist views and the fact that he has worked very closely with the palace and the military in the past. The coup put an end to that, but Yingluck’s words and actions have signalled that rapprochement is conceivable.
Radical shifts in allegiance have happened before in Thai politics and they will happen again. Far from being a republican trouble-maker, Thaksin may ultimately prove a key ally for the palace in any future crisis. His capacity for personal reinvention is legendary, and this means that as he and the palace both face the challenges of the years ahead they may find that a common cause can guarantee mutual survival.
Thaksin has a track record of indestructibility. It makes sense that in the difficult years to come the palace will want him on their side.