Apart from former PM General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, retired senior military officers and Thaksin’s former classmates, some 20 of them, from the Pre-Cadet Class 10, seem to be lining up to join the party’s army.
The only name in the troops that raised an eyebrow was that of former deputy army chief Lt-General Jiradet Kocharat, who was close to ex-deputy secretary-general of the Council for National Security General Saprang Kalayanamitr.
After the 2006 coup, Jiradet got promoted to deputy Army chief, but he ended up switching camps.
Jiradet’s reason for joining Pheu Thai is that he wants to help clear up misunderstandings among military officers who question the loyalty opposition figures have toward the monarchy.
As for Chavalit, he said he had decided to return to the political field because he could no longer allow the unprecedented social divisions to persist.
He also vowed to safeguard the country’s revered royal institution from being adversely affected by the political animosity.
Though the two new Pheu Thai members seem to be loudly declaring that they want to enhance reconciliation, in reality though they seem to be creating more conflict as evidenced by the heated exchange between Chavalit and President of the Privy Council General Prem Tinsulanonda.
Prem had warned Chavalit, who was once the privy councillor’s close aide, to be prudent about his actions because he could risk being accused of “betraying the country”.
However, it’s clear that Chavalit and Prem are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Another noteworthy event is that all these ex-soldiers-turned-politicians, with Thaksin’s clan in attendance, took off to meet the former PM in Dubai recently.
Obviously, one might wonder what their real boss has in mind, and why he’s summoning his troops. Perhaps the Thaksin camp’s next move will soon become clearer.
As we all know, the Pheu Thai’s main goal is to bring down this government and they’ve been trying to create chaos by opposing amendments to the charter and staging rallies all this month – the “Daeng Thang Deun” (Month of the Reds).
“We aim to intensify our [Pheu Thai and red-shirts] campaign, especially over the next two months, with the aim of winning the game in January and February. We should have at least 400,000 to 500,000 supporters by then and don’t think the government will have any power to stay on,” one of the Pheu Thai leaders declared.
As for us simple denizens, perhaps we should adopt the “let’s wait and see” attitude.