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Thai politics: Nobody has Plan B

Written by World Events

File photo : former Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat

January 1, 2024: Being optimistic is how everyone should start the New Year, but there is a clear line between that and being blindly hopeful bordering on suicidal.

Let’s start with the conservatives. Their only plan is prevention of Move Forward becoming the government, even that meant a marriage to Pheu Thai, the “lesser” enemy. How they deal with issues like digital wallet and Thaksin Shinawatra will be awkward and potentially explosive throughout the year. Much will have to do with the fact that they have no Plan B.

Now, Pheu Thai. Their only plan is being where they are now _ leading a government controlling key ministries like finance, something that was impossible if it had to form a government with Move Forward. No Plan B is in store to deal with times when key policies evoke its reluctant allies’ disapproval or outrages. There is no clear direction on charter amendment, either.

Last but not least, Move Forward. Their only plan now is keep being bold, a strategy which proved successful on May 14 last year. They walked a tightrope and made it. There is a key difference now, though, which is apparently not being addressed.

They used to have Pita Limjaroenrat who is no longer there, at least for now.

If he manages to come back, the plan can go on or be tweaked a little and moved ahead. If not, Move Forward may become a runaway train whose driver falls asleep and dreams about winning the next election again. There is apparently no plan on controlling hardcore supporters who are all but certain to take to street again when charter amendment reaches climatic points.

No offense to new leader Chaithawat Tulathon, who must be preoccupied with a possible party dissolution, which seems to have become an easily-solvable problem in Thai politics nowadays, though. Continuing to be aggressive and popular at the same time is a bigger issue. Pita helped a lot with the dual-track approach, with his boyish look and perceived sophistication enabling good expectations to overshadow doubts and thus charming the new generation.

There must be a Plan B on how to achieve that this year.



Daily updates of local and international events by Tulsathit Taptim

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