Sunday, May 17, 2009
Abhisit and his coalition partners: You are OK, I am OK
Are they still united under Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva's leadership?
The most direct answer is: It depends on whether they are satisfied with the share of cake they get.
So far, despite some hiccups, the coalition partners don't see a better formula. That's why, despite the strage-bedfellowship, the Chatthaipattana under Banharn Silpa-archa and Bhumjaithai under Newin Chidchob, remain reasonably well-behaved.
Yes, there was a hot debate in the Cabinet over the corn stockpile issue between the premier and Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakasai (under Bhumjaithai). But it was quickly resolved before it was allowed to deteriorate into a major conflict.
There may also be difference in opinion over whether to issue a general amnesty for the banned politicians (several leading figures in the coalition partners would stand to gain if the clemency is granted).
Therefore, despite rumours of a new election in three months, there doesn't seem to be any real clash that would lead to a break-up of the coalition just yet.
But one can never tell. As they say in politics: Never say never.