Sunday, December 28, 2008

Biggest challenge in his political life

Abhisit Vejjajiva is due to deliver his policy statement to Parliament for the first time as prime minister tomorrow, amidst a rally being organized by the "red-shirted" protestors who are on the side of Thaksin Shinawatra.

No violence is expected. Abhisit has announced that police won't use tear-gas or any kind of weapons to confront the protestors. The Oct 7 incident, in which many yellow-shirted protestors were injured by police action, won't be repeated, he said.

The protest leaders have vowed not to surround the Parliament building. They simply want to show the world that the Abhisit government had been formed illegitimately, by "hijacking" MPs from the previous pro-Thaksin alliance.

The opposition has threatened to grill Abhisit on his alleged "draft dodging." Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya will be questioned about his role in support of the People's Alliance for Democracy and Defence Minister Hen Pravit Pongsuwan will be asked about his role in helping to cobble together the Abhisit government.

It's not his rhetoric or even his policy that resembles Thaksin's "populism" that's the problem. It's how he can keep his fragile coalition government together in the wake of constant political horse-traing that is the main threat to his survival.

Abhisit knows how vulnerable his position is. He said the other day that if he can't deliver on his promise, "I will let somebody else take over."

And that "somebody else" is ready to cut him down every minute of the day.

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