When Thais headed to the polls in 2011, Thaksin’s proxy party, Pheu Thai, was victorious and his sister Yingluck Shinawatra became the country’s first female prime minister. Despite claims from Yingluck that she is firmly in control of the party, Thaksin is still largely believed to be guiding the Pheu Thai from exile.
Last week, Pheu Thai succeeded in forcing a piece of highly controversial legislative through the Lower House of Parliament. Commonly known as the Amnesty Bill, the sweeping legislation offers protection to both red and yellow. It shields government officials and military from any potential criminal charges that could stem from the country’s political crisis — and it could also pave the way for Thaksin’s return to Thailand.
Although bitter rivals, it appears the red and the yellow might have found common ground in their hatred of the bill. Yellow shirts are enraged by the thought of Thaksin staging a political comeback, while the red shirts are furious that pardons would be offered to troops and government officials deemed responsible for the deaths of the their comrades gunned down in the streets of Bangkok.