Thaksin still very much the CEO of Thai govt

BANGKOK - Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Skype address on Monday marks a major political step for his supporters, because this is the first time that Pheu Thai Party MPs and ministers have proudly admitted that Thaksin is indeed fully involved in the party's affairs.

The message Thaksin sent through his Skype address was loud and clear - he is the real boss. By criticising Pheu Thai ministers and rebuking MPs in Sudarat Keyuraphan's faction for not helping the party's gubernatorial candidate rally for votes, Thakin portrayed himself as a no-nonsense man who is clearly running the show. His lambasting of some Pheu Thai MPs is aimed at putting all factions under his thumb. Nobody else, except Thaksin, would dare to rebuke a faction like Sudarat's.

The de facto leader's message also implies that even though he is not here in person, he is monitoring every move and knows who is doing what. "Some people want me to return home. Some say they love me, but they also say don't rush home because they may lose significance,'' Thaksin said.

The one topic that Thaksin highlighted in his address was the Bt2-trillion mega-transportation project. He instructed the MPs to study the issue carefully and use it as a strategy, not merely a system to divert funds to their constituencies.

According to Thaksin, mega projects like this will bring the party both money and rewards that it will need to expand its political base. Hence, he has instructed the party to do everything possible to get the system off the ground by removing all obstacles.

In other words, this Bt2-trillion investment has become the government's core "business", with Thaksin playing the CEO's role and controlling all investments and the country's political affairs.

He also told the party - very clearly - how to proceed with charter amendments. They've been instructed to overlook voting in the third reading and amending each Article in the way he wants it altered.

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