P. S. Suryanarayana
SINGAPORE: A coalition, led by People’s Power Party that owes allegiance to the military-deposed leader, Thaksin Shinawatra, was floated in Bangkok on Saturday to share power in a “democracy-restoring” government in Thailand.
There was no immediate reaction from the junta leaders to the PPP’s latest move. And, if the ruling junta does not stop the alliance, which consists of the PPP and five other parties in its tracks, it may assume office in about a week’s time.
With that, the post-coup politics in Thailand will come a full circle, marking the restoration of not only democracy but also the centrality of Mr. Thaksin, who was toppled in September 2006 when he was abroad.
The results of the poll held on December 23 have not yet been notified, with the verification process in respect of nearly 25 seats out of a total of 480 still pending. But, the PPP-led coalition believes that Parliament could be formed by Monday at the earliest.
Thailand’s long-established Democrat Party, led by Abhisit Vejjejiva, has indicated that it is willing to sit on Opposition benches in the evolving political situation.
And, observers estimate that the PPP-led coalition may command a strength of at least 300 members.
Mr. Thaksin still remains outside Thailand, and the junta had secured last year a judicial ruling barring him from politics for five years.
However, PPP leader Samak Sundaravej, who announced the formation of the coalition in the presence of leaders of his five ally-parties, did not indicate whether he himself would head the proposed government.
At the same time, the PPP stayed its course and pledged again to facilitate Mr. Thaksin’s honourable return to Thailand.