However Prime Minister Surayud fills the Pridiyathorn gap, his government is in crisis. Its technocratic team is in disarray, its policy-making machinery becoming murkier by the day. This latest morass raises questions and doubts over the prime minister’s own credentials and leadership qualities.

We may have overestimated him. It is a sad reflection for a man of such unflinching integrity and with a distinguished track record.

He should not have let tensions within his cabinet fester for so long as to have degenerated into the resignation of his economic policy chief.

– Extract from an op-ed by Thitinan Pongsudhirak, “Crisis of leadership hits Surayud govt”, Bangkok Post, 2 March 2007.