A democratically elected government convened yesterday at Parliament House in Bangkok for the first time since the September 2006 coup. The six-party coalition group is led by the People Power Party and this Friday it looks likely that Samak Sundaravej will be named as the new Prime Minister.
There have been accusations of vote fixing and some of the politicians who won seats have been prevented from taking office. Nevertheless, the Thai courts have finally cleared the way for the new government to convene although there is sure to be some more in-fighting as factions within the coalition jostle for ministerial posts.
Meanwhile, the soap opera that is Thaksin Shinawatra rumbles on. Thaksin looks set to return to Thailand in April or May to fight corruption charges. Potjaman Shinawatra is already in Thailand and makes a court appearance tomorrow as she prepares to fight the criminal charges laid against her over an alleged illegal land deal whilst her husband was in office. Although banned from politics and previously declaring that he had no interest in returning to political life, the Manchester City owner has been a key player in the recent Thai elections. The People Power Party are seen by many as a proxy for Thaksin and their populist policies owe much to Thaksin’s former Thai Rak Thai party.