September 22, 2023
Bangkok – Prime Minister Shretha Thavisin on Thursday hinted that former leader Thaksin Shinawatra will take an advisory role in his government once he is released from prison.
Shretha said Thaksin would be valuable to his administration and the country.
„I believe he will add value to the government and the Thai people,” the prime minister said during an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York.
He also pointed out the huge popularity of the former leader. „He was, and probably still is, the most popular prime minister in Thai political history,” Shretha said.
„Obviously, it comes with good reasons and if he becomes independent, it would be unwise for me not to listen to his opinion and the opinion of other prime ministers,” he added.
However, the prime minister did not make it clear what role Thaksin would play in the new government. „Let’s play by ear,” Shretha said during her interview in New York.
A property tycoon-turned-politician, Shretha admitted her political inexperience during her Bloomberg interview. But he dismissed concerns about the stability of his coalition government. „I believe this is a very stable government,” he said.
Thaksin Buyu is considered the patriarch of the Thai Party. The 74-year-old founder of Thai Rak Thai, a predecessor of Pew Thai two decades ago, retains great influence in the current ruling party.
He served as Prime Minister from February 2001 to September 2006.
Thaksin returned to Thailand after 15 years in exile abroad, serving prison terms on multiple corruption charges. He was reportedly sent to the Police General Hospital for treatment within hours of his return in a private jet on August 22.
Thaksin’s plane touched down in Bangkok hours before Shretha was to be voted into parliament as Thailand’s 30th prime minister. Shretha’s victory was attributed to the overwhelming support of the Senate, which was widely seen as part of a deal between Thaksin and the pro-state military establishment.
The former prime minister recently had his eight-year prison sentence reduced to one year due to a state pardon. His family is looking forward to the possibility of him being released on early parole, possibly in February.
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