The opposition against Thaksin has peaked with rising cries for him to step down in response to his defensive tactics to maintain power.
Most recently was the 5 March mass protest at Sanam Luang. Nonetheless, despite stepped up security which included the deployment of 150 policemen and 12 road checks to protect Thaksin’s house, Thaksin addressed his supporters at the rally.
The Nation reported him saying “he would forgive his enemies as he wanted Thai people to love one another and become reconciled for the sake of His Majesty the King”. He also promised that he would not resume Prime Ministership if Thai Rak Thai Party did not receive at least 8.5m votes. In addition, Thaksin declared that after the April 2 election, a drafting committee would be allowed to draft a new constitution, after which he would dissolve the House and call a new election.
However, detractors are unappeased with what they see as “delaying” tactics. Sondhi Limthongkul had earlier petitioned the King to end the political stalemate and Surapol Nitikrapoj, rector of Thammasat University, had also issued an open letter urging Thaksin to make way for a royally-appointed government. Now, it seems as if the royal family also frowns on Thaksin’s divisive politics. "Royal Family members have expressed their concern over the current political situation," The Nation reported MR Yongyuphalak Kasemsan, a political scientist formerly of Chulalongkorn University as saying. “A number of us agree that the only way out [of the current stalemate] is to ask His Majesty to appoint a prime minister.”
Other royal family members who support the petition include MR Wiriyapha Kitiyakara (Chang-rean), MR Naruemon Kasemsan, MR Suwanan Walayasewi, MR Wutthisak Swasdiwat, MR Suta-nont Sintawanont, MR Ram-piampha Kasemsri, MR Saisigha Siributr and MR Saisawashi Thompson. Other elites who have signed the petition include Chai-anan Samudvanij, a member of the Royal Academy; Prof Rapee Sakrik, a former rector of Kasetsat University; Auditor General Jaruvan Main-taka; and Senators Chirmsak Pinthong and Kraisak Chonhavan.
Leading academic Thirayuth Boonmee has predicted that Thaksin will not stay in power as people believe he has lost the legitimacy to rule and only by quitting politics can he reverse the opposition against him. Even support for him is muted in Thaksin’s hometown. Yet, a recent Abac finding provided strong evidence that Thaksin should stay on as 47.5% of those polled believed Mr Thaksin should not end his political career and remain as leader of the Thai Rak Thai Party, while 28.9% said he should.
This scenario is not new and it is uncertain which way the boat will rock with future developments.
Sources: Social 'elite' call on King to appoint PM Bangkok Post, 6 March 2006
Abac poll: Thaksin should stay Bangkok Post, 6 March 2006
PM's support unsure even in the North Bangkok Post, 6 March 2006
Royal kin back move to appoint interim PM The Nation, 6 March 2006
Petition filed seeking an interim government from His Majesty The Nation, 6 March 2006 Police step up security around Thaksin's houseThe Nation, 6 March 2006
Pnet will not monitor April 2 electionThe Nation, 6 March 2006
Chamlong repeats call for Thaksin to resignThe Nation, 6 March 2006
Thirayuth says Thaksin is politically doomedThe Nation, 6 March 2006
Thaksin says he will not take PM post if Thai Rak Thai receives less than half of 19 million votesThe Nation, 6 March 2006
Thaksin promises another House dissolutionThe Nation, 6 March 2006