Thaksin aide tests the water
Deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has dispatched his personal secretary to Thailand to discover how many former Thai Rak Thai MPs are still loyal to him.
Padung Limcharoen is in Bangkok to find out how many former MPs are still willing to stick it out with the party.
There has also been some speculation that the Constitution Tribunal will likely not order the dissolution of the party, but will punish individuals involved in bribing small, little-known parties in April to help Thai Rak Thai circumvent electoral regulations.
A source said Thaksin appeared to be happy that Chaturon Chaisang had decided not to abandon the party and had assumed the leadership. Chaturon is believed to be close to Privy Council President Prem Tinnasulanonda.
It is also believed that Prem wants Thai Rak Thai to continue to exist, but without the abusive handouts the party made to win rural electoral support.
Meanwhile, security sources revealed that after a survey of Thai Rak Thai popularity in rural areas, they discovered the party still enjoyed support despite the coup.
One of its conclusions was that dissolving the party may lead to social upheaval, as many former MPs still with the party have extensive links with the rural populace.
However, a swift way of dealing with Thaksin was to remove him from future political involvement, it said.