Now, the red-shirts have come up with a new strategy. They no longer direct their attacks at Privy Council President General Prem Tinsulanonda, knowing full well that the tactic was very damaging to their boss Thaksin, who is finding it increasingly difficult to move around in his leased executive jet.
Abhisit will continue to face more political trouble both in and outside the House, making his task of rescuing the national economy even more complicated. He has to look over his shoulder from time to time to see whether somebody is holding a long knife.
Has he become stronger with the broader public acceptance of his leadership? Well, his speech in the House was passionate and sincere. To a certain extent, it also impressed some in the opposition faction who are not too deep in sin. For the hardcore loyalists of Thaksin, though, the talk was pointless.
At least Abhisit has managed to display his courage to accept responsibility and whatever consequences arise from his decisions and actions during the crisis. It is the first time a civilian leader has instructed the generals to do their job of clearing up the mess in the streets while standing firmly to take all the blame off their shoulders.
During his closing speech, Abhisit set two conditions for his adversaries - to cease and desist from malicious intent against the nation's revered institution, and to stop any violence, of any kind, in their disagreement with his policies and actions.
The red-shirted ringleaders have been released on bail and barred from leaving the country. They have been instructed by the court to cease all incitement of mob violence and action detrimental to national security. Still, the lower rung of the hierarchy has taken charge with a similar intensity and malice.
The main point they are trying to make is that the government led a harsh crackdown by the military in which there were heavy casualties. Still they cannot produce evidence of fatalities, thus making their charges hollow and lacking credibility.
Thaksin, who stirred up the violent trouble via his video ramblings from abroad, will spend some time lying low now that his credibility among the international media, particularly the major networks, is almost zero. There have been too many lies, half-truths and baseless accusations. He was laughing when his red-shirted goons chased away Asean leaders and dialogue partners from the summit meeting in Pattaya, believing that Abhisit was a fumbling kid biting off what he couldn't chew. Now it is Thaksin's turn to look like an international clown after being unmasked through probing and pointed questions over his role in instigating the mob riot.
Oh yes, he will not give up. Thaksin almost succeeded in his last bid. There were rumours of an attempted coup during the crisis. This was known only to insiders, who saw that it was also a desperate time for the young prime minister. But Abhisit prevented this scenario with his show of decisiveness.
Now that the red-shirted hecklers have to come up with a new direction, under the advice of their financial patrons, Abhisit will have to put in more effort to guide the national economy towards recovery, capitalising on his newly gained respect
In addition to appeasing rural folk with populist projects, he has to woo investors from abroad, instead of just concentrating on stock price movements to gauge a bullish or bearish sentiment. The economy needs a big shot in the arm through government investment, to create employment and optimism.
With some tangible results, the government can show that it knows how to solve problems and make people feel that they can expect a better future. The prospect of better livelihoods will weaken all subversive attempts by Thaksin's political cronies.
The hardest part of all for Abhisit will be to regain bargaining power from the coalition partners who have taken all the plum jobs and the golden opportunities to enrich themselves through kickbacks from major projects. It is the enemy within that has the real potential to make his economic recovery plan a success or failure.