Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thaksin, Prem...No love lost between them

What's Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat up to when he said today that Gen Prem Tinsulanond, former premier and President of the Privy Council, "could play a role" in mediating an end to the ongoing conflict?

But nothing has happened since Somchai sought a meeting with Prem as soon as the former assumed office.

Now, every political pundit in town knows that Prem and former Premier Thaksin Shinnawatr, Somchai's brother in law, eye each other with deep suspicion, no matter what they say publicly about each other.

Now, a group of the ruling People's Power Party, is collecting signatures from MPs (they claim to have got 90 so far) so that they can appeal to Prem to take on the role of the "middle man" to get all parties concerned to come to the negotiation table.

That move, of course, has been seen as a cynical gesture from the government MPs who, without a doubt, realize that the relationship between Thaksin and Prem remain somewhat soured in the background. It's no secret, of course, that Thaksin has always harboured the suspicion that Prem ("someone with extra-constitutional power") has been behind the move to unseat him. Prem has kept quiet throughout and has never publicly responded to the accusation. Sources close to Prem say he remains suspicious of Thaksin's political ambition...and the danger of his "the-end-justifies-the-means" attitude.

Is the PPP's MPs' move to enlist Prem's help in resolving the national conflict in fact a trick to corner him. Is Thaksin behind this new plot to embarrass Prem?

Not a few political analysts will tell you the jury is still out.

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