Ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra reaffirmed his intent to return to Thailand in yesterday’s live social media session, saying it had nothing to do with politics, but he merely wanted to take care of his grandchildren.
Thaksin, who has been living in self-exile since a 2008 corruption conviction, has been one of the most controversial figures in Thai politics. His statements came amidst the country’s political uncertainty after the Move Forward party was able to secure first place in the May 14th election, but may not be able to form a government due to the upper house (senate) not wanting to vote its leader as premier.
Under the constitution, the 250 senators appointed by the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) are allowed to join MPs in electing a prime minister in Parliament.
During last night’s online forum, the ex-premier congratuated Move Forward for gracefully winning the election. He said its victory was a significant shift in the political landscape of Bangkok, which saw almost every district turning orange, the color representing Move Forward.
He also chastised the alleged army’s Information Operation (IO) network for trying to propagate a rumor that the Pheu Thai party, the party that came in second in the election and was traditionally linked with Thaksin, was planning to compete with Move Forward in forming a different coalition.
Thaksin said he believed in Pheu Thai’s democratic spirit and that he expected the party to vote for Move Forward’s prime ministerial candidate as the next PM regardless of consequences.
He also suggested that Move Forward should engage in discussions with independent senators, along with trying to secure adequate MPs to support its PM candidate.
Regarding his return, the former prime minister said the election result had no effect on his decision and that, “Whatever will be, will be”.
This was the second time this month that he mentioned about his return.
The original version of this article appeared on our sister website, The Pattaya News, owned by our parent company TPN media.