Thaksin may return in July, ready to face judicial process: Paetongtarn


BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Former prime minister Thaksin (pic) will return to Thailand and enter the due judicial process, Pheu Thai Party PM candidate Paetongtarn Shinawatra said on Wednesday (June 7).

She made the remarks in response to Thaksin’s announcement on social media that he wanted to return home to see his new grandchild.

Paetongtarn, who is Thaksin’s youngest daughter, gave birth to a baby boy on May 1.

She said Thaksin had not contacted her about his plan to return to Thailand. However, she expects her father to return soon, adding that he is ready to face the judicial process.

"We have thought of many ways [to facilitate Thaksin], but try to think positive," she said.

She added that the Shinawatra family would facilitate Thaksin’s return, such as through hospitality and security.

Paetongtarn believes that Thaksin will return to Thailand in July, depending on the political situation.

"We have to monitor the situation because we believe that my father's return would become a big issue," she said.

When asked if he would return if the formation of a new government was not complete, she said the existence of a caretaker government would not affect Thaksin's return.

She also cited Thaksin's remark that he was willing to return to Thailand and enter the judicial process no matter who led the government.

Paetongtarn believes that Thaksin wants to return in July because it is his birth month.

“No matter what he does, he will remember the birthdate of his family members,” she added.

A source close to the Shinawatra family said that the family was not in favour of Paetongtarn becoming the prime minister at this point in time.

The source added that the family wanted Paetongtarn to wait another five years to become the PM, as she was only 37 years old, while many other candidates were capable of taking the position.

For instance, another Pheu Thai PM candidate, Srettha Thavisin, has expertise in the economy, the source said, adding that Move Forward PM candidate Pita Limjaroenrat is also capable of taking the position.

The source said the Shinawatra family wants Thaksin to delay his plan to return to Thailand, adding that he should return only after a new government is formed.

“Ing [Paetongtarn’s nickname] is still young with not enough experience, but she took part in Thai politics to make Pheu Thai stronger," the source said.

The source added that Paetongtarn should work in Thai politics step by step, adding she had told her father that his flight to Thailand was not ready yet.

Thaksin has been living in exile since 2008, spending most of his time in Dubai, after his government was ousted by a military coup led by General Sonthi Boonyaratglin on Sept 19, 2006. He faces several charges and jail sentences for abuse of power.

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