Thailand’s former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, is set to return from self-exile next week, his daughter said, as a premier candidate of a political party backed by his family faces a parliament vote to form a government.
(Bloomberg) — Thailand’s former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, is set to return from self-exile next week, his daughter said, as a premier candidate of a political party backed by his family faces a parliament vote to form a government.
Thaksin will arrive at Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport at 9 a.m. on Aug. 22, Paetongtarn Shinawatra wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. This is the third time this year that Thaksin or his family has announced plans for the former leader to return to the Southeast Asian nation.
If the popular but polarizing politician keeps his promise it will coincide with a parliament vote to elect a new prime minister. Srettha Thavisin, the nominee of a coalition of parties led by Pheu Thai, backed by Thaksin, is scheduled to seek parliament’s endorsement to take the country’s top job.
Read more: Why Two Thai Coups Can’t Keep Thaksin’s Family Down: QuickTake
The alliance, backed by 274 lawmakers, is still short of the votes needed to ensure its candidate’s outright win. Srettha, 60, will need the support of the majority of 750 legislators in the joint National Assembly, which combines the lower house and the 250-member Senate that’s stacked with allies of the pro-military royalist establishment.
Thaksin has lived overseas since fleeing the country in 2008 to avoid corruption charges, shuttling between Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and London. Since leaving Thailand, he has been found guilty in absentia in several graft cases. which he said were politically motivated. The former prime minister still faces a combined 10 years in prison in three of the cases.
Thaksin said in May that he would enter the justice process upon his return and that he didn’t want an amnesty from jail terms — something previously attempted by a government headed by his sister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2013 before it was toppled in a 2014 coup.
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