Saturday, December 6, 2008

She is back but is she really divorced from politics?

Khunying Pojaman Shinawatr (is she still using Thaksin's family name?) flew back to Bangkok last night. And nobody believes she isn't on some important political mission.

It's strange but true. All page one headlines in the local press this morning were unanimous that she is back here to clear up the mess after the People's Power Party (PPP) was ordered disbanded together with two others. All PPP MPs were supposed to walk straight into Peau Thai Party, the brand new home set up a few weeks ago to carry on Thaksin's political venture. But with Newin Chidchob's faction of about 37 MPs showing signs of a defection and the emergence of other uncertainties, the stage is set for a new round of turmoil. And she apparently is here to make sure that the "right" man becomes the next prime minister.

Pojaman, according to some insiders, is here to sort out her financial arrangements after she and Thaksin signed divorce papers some two weeks ago presumably in Hong Kong. But the timing of her return (Peau Thai Party is scheduled to hold its first major meeting tomorrow) has inevitably pointed all political analysts to one direction.

That raises the question again of whether her "divorce" from Thaksin is for real. Or was it another political ploy?

Pojaman is appealing the court's ruling that handed down a three-year jail term for her evasion of some 546 million baht in tax when she transferred a major chunk of stocks of Shinnawatr Computers and Communications to her relatives. She has been acquitted in another case -- the Rajada land deal -- in which Thaksin was given a two-year jail term without probation.

The Thaksin-Pojaman "split-up-and-fight" saga has just begun.

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