If Thailand is to move forward, politicians of all stripes are obliged to genuinely strive for the greater good instead of getting satisfaction from vengeful and petty acts.
The outcome of the December 23 election means different things to different people. But the important thing is that the country is once again under democratic rule.
All parties concerned must respect the people's mandate. Hopefully, through tolerance and compromise, the political system will eventually work in the best interests of society.
In leaving behind an ugly chapter of political turmoil, it is noteworthy that the soldiers deserve a commendation for marching back to their barracks. The coup could never be justified, but at least the soldiers have acknowledged their limits and honoured their pledge on the restoration of democracy.
The victory of the People Power Party is not a surprise but it is a deep anguish for coup leader Sonthi Boonyaratglin. If it could be some consolation, Sonthi should realise that his feelings were as hurt and painful as what former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra experienced on learning about the coup in progress on the afternoon of September 19.
Sonthi and Thaksin both shared the bitter taste of betrayal. Basking in his popularity, Thaksin was blindsided by his illusory allies when he was ousted from power. Backed by every state mechanism, Sonthi was equally in the dark when politicians conspired to pull the rug from under him by electioneering mass votes from the Northeast.
For the country's sake, the two men should both exit politics forever. Thaksin's legacy was transforming the political landscape by awakening the dormant political force of the grass-roots people. But his authoritarian leadership threatened to destroy the political system.
Sonthi managed to quell street protests and rein in the turmoil by ousting Thaksin but he killed democracy in the process. The two men are powerful and dedicated to serving the public in their own way. The catch is that both are now too big for the game and the country would get bogged down by their rivalry if they are allowed to continue dominating the scene.
About a month has passed since the people gave their mandate for Samak Sundaravej to lead the country. It is high time for Samak to step out of the shadow of Thaksin and do his job - to lead.
With almost four decades of experience, Samak has no excuse for stage fright now that he is centre stage to project his leadership. His first litmus test is how he will select his finance minister or more importantly, who would serve under him in the finance portfolio.