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Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Thailand’s former PM to be paroled

Thailand’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is set to be granted parole after serving just six months of an eight-year jail sentence.

A brief history: Having dominated Thai politics for a generation, Thaksin – a populist billionaire – lived in self-imposed exile for 15 years after he was ousted by the military in 2006. Convicted in absentia of graft and abuse of power in 2008, he returned to Thailand just before last autumn’s election after striking a deal with the military establishment party that originally ousted him.

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Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.


Thaksin to Thai king: Pardon me?

Thailand’s billionaire former PM Thaksin Shinawatra has appealed to the country’s king for a pardon just days after being jailed upon his highly anticipated return to the country.

The background: In the early 2000s, Thaksin struck a populist chord to win a slew of elections, and was PM until he was ousted in a 2006 military coup that drove him into exile. Last week, he returned home for the first time since then, only to be jailed on charges of corruption and abuse of power.

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Pita Limjaroenrat, leader of Thailand's Move Forward Party, reacts after failing to win parliamentary support to become prime minister.

REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Political trouble brews in the Land of Smiles

Late on Thursday, the Thai parliament rejected opposition leader Pita Limjaroenrat's bid to become the country’s next prime minister. Pita, whose progressive Move Forward Party won the May 14 election, was 51 votes shy of the supermajority needed to clinch the premiership. (For more on that, read our explainer here.)

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Thailand's former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

Not now, Thaksin!

We recently predicted that the shadow of self-exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra would loom large over the May 14 Thai election. Now the stakes just got a lot higher.

On Tuesday, Thaksin announced that he plans to return before his 74th birthday in July, almost 15 years after he skipped town when he was about to go on trial for corruption. Thaksin, ousted in a 2006 coup, was ultimately convicted in absentia of several charges that add up to over a decade in prison.

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Paetongtarn Shinawatra, daughter of former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra and the Pheu Thai party's prime ministerial candidate, at a campaign event in Bangkok.

REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa

Thaksin’s shadow looms large over upcoming Thai election

Former PM Thaksin Shinawatra remains a powerful force in Thai politics 17 years after the military ousted the billionaire businessman from office and drove him out of the country. His party, Pheu Thai (or its predecessors), has won the largest number of seats in every election since 2001 with its populist appeals to the rural poor. But it has been twice ousted from power via military coups. In addition to Thaksin (Thais go by their given name), his sister Yingluck suffered a similar fate, in 2014.

Ahead of the May 14 elections for the House of Representatives, Pheu Thai is getting a fresh boost from the next generation: Thaksin’s daughter Paetongtarn, 36, has emerged as an energetic campaigner and one of the main contenders for prime minister. Yet Pheu Thai faces a battle obtaining the nation’s top job given the conservative establishment’s dominance of the political system.

We asked Eurasia Group expert Peter Mumford to explain why.

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Paetongtarn Shinawatra

Annie Gugliotta (image with CC license)

Can Thaksin rule again in Thailand?

Get ready for some major political trouble later this year in the Land of Smiles.

Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the youngest daughter of deposed former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra, is mulling a run for her dad’s old job. Over the weekend, Paetongtarn — Thais go by their given name — got a lot of buzz at the assembly of Thaksin’s Pheu Thai Party, calling for a landslide victory in a snap election expected to be called in November.

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Former Thai PM Thaksin had coronavirus but recovered: Source

October 03, 2020 12:21 PM

BANGKOK (AFP) - Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra tested positive for coronavirus and was treated in hospital last month but has since recovered, a source close to the exiled billionaire told AFP on Saturday (Oct 3).

Thai army chief slams Thaksin Shinawatra in rare remarks after election

April 02, 2019 6:59 PM

BANGKOK (BLOOMBERG) - Thailand's army chief slammed exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra in a rare briefing following a disputed election, a further sign that his allies will struggle to form a government.

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