Thailand crisis in stalemate: We appear to have stalemate in the ongoing Thai political crisis. The anti-government protesters continue their “Bangkok shutdown” campaign, and protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban sounds as stubborn as ever in refusing any form of compromise or even talks with the government.
He has repeatedly refused to even meet with the government or negotiate at all, taking a position that is rigid and insists on getting everything he wants.
The government, led by caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, has been slowly backtracking for well over a month now. But she has in recent days said that she cannot resign because she has a duty to safeguard Thailand’s fragile democracy.
These recent statements follow a rather bizarre report from The Nation a few days ago that said Ms. Yingluck was leaning toward resigning as the protesters demanded. The report said her brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, phoned in and talked her into staying on as prime minister. The report claimed that Thaksin told Yingluck if she resigned the protesters would have her arrested for abandoning her duty under the law and she could be jailed.
This is the type of thing that just makes no sense at all to those outside Thailand. The protesters have been demanding she resign for months, and her resignation would be their victory. Yet if she finally gives in and does what they demand, they are going to turn around and charge her under the law for an act which they have been loudly demanding she do? That just seems crazy.
Far more likely, it seems, is that Yingluck is a more reasonable person than her brother, and does not like all the tension and turmoil that is going on against her government, not to mention the heated rhetoric against her personally. She finally got to the point where she thought maybe it would be better to give in and resign. But Thaksin wants to cling to whatever power or influence he has in the ruling party, and came up with this absurd notion of Yingluck being jailed to persuade her to stay on.
If true, The Nation report just shows Thaksin has not changed or learned a thing since his days as prime minister. He continues to be the ultimate manipulator – even to the point of manipulating his own sister.