The ball appears back in the army’s court in Thailand following the results of the general election. Last year the army staged a military coup to oust the government of Thaksin Shinawatra and his People Power party. It has won again. Although voters did not give it an absolute majority, and with 228 seats in the 480-seat chamber it will need allies, the vote is a rejection of the army’s political role.
PPP leader Samak Sundaravej: “Thais lost their freedom in September last year for no reason, and now the election result is a warning to those who would do something illegitimate; think twice”.
The army’s attempts to sideline the controversial telecoms billionaire Thaksin appear to have fallen apart. The exile is already planning his return.
However with several legal cases pending against him, it is possible Shinawatra would be arrested if he returns to Thailand. He is unlikely to take that risk until some sort of deal is done.