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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Has Thaksin finally found a way of returning to Thailand through the front door?

    The one wish Thaksin Shinawatra made while blowing out 72 candles on his birthday cake on Monday (July 26) was to be able to return home.


    Thaksin was ousted in the 2006 coup after serving as prime minister for just over five years. He returned to Thailand for a brief visit in February 2008 before fleeing charges of corruption in July that year. He was subsequently sentenced to two years in jail in absentia and has lived in self-exile ever since.


    The fugitive former premier has repeatedly voiced a desire to return to his motherland. However, he has never sounded so confident about achieving that aim as he did on July 13 in a chatroom of the social-networking app Clubhouse.


    “I reiterate, I will definitely come back. I will reveal more details when the time is right. I will arrive through the front door of Suvarnabhumi Airport, not the back door,” Thaksin told his supporters in the Clubhouse chatroom, where he is a regular guest of “CARE” – a thinktank founded by his inner circle.


    Soon after Thaksin – who uses the name “Tony Woodsome” as a handle on Clubhouse – made the announcement, the hashtag #พี่โทนี่กลับไทยแน่ (Brother Tony is definitely returning) began trending on Twitter.


    What is Thaksin’s real agenda?


    Though it appears unlikely that Thaksin will be able to return freely anytime soon, observers say the former PM has chosen the right time to announce a comeback. Frustration in Thailand is growing over Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s perceived failure to tackle the pandemic and its economic fallout – a perfect time for Thaksin to leverage his own popularity and undermine the current PM’s authority.


    Wanwichit Boonprong, a political science lecturer at Rangsit University, said Thaksin knows he won’t be able to return in the near future, but he wants to test the waters to see if conservative forces remain strong in their support for Prayut and opposed to his return.


    The analyst pointed out that Prayut’s support base appears to be weakening as the PM faces a crisis of public confidence.


    “Thaksin is testing the public’s faith in Prayut. He wants to know if they still stand shoulder to shoulder with the PM,” Wanwichit said.


    Thaksin will also want to gauge how popular himself and his Pheu Thai Party remain among young voters.


    Once famous as a telecom tycoon, Thaksin has found the perfect channel to connect with his fans back home – this time as “Brother Tony”. On Clubhouse, he discusses subjects ranging from politics and economics to the Prayut government’s failings and alleged mismanagement. His audience appear to be drawn mostly from the younger generation.


    “Tony clearly wants to win back the hearts of young voters from Kao Klai, successor of the now-defunct Future Forward that made a stunning debut in the last [2019] general election,” he added.


    Has Thaksin finally found a way of returning to Thailand 'through the front door'? | Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world

  2. #2
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ^you might have overlooked this part of the article.........

    Thaksin’s jail sentences

    Thaksin currently faces up to 12 years in jail over charges covering his two terms as premier from 2001 to 2006.

    The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions slapped him with a two-year term in October 2008 for a conflict of interest over his then-wife Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra’s purchase of land from a government fund.

    In April 2019, he was sentenced to another three years for a conflict of interest related to an Exim Bank loan to Myanmar, and then another two years in June 2019 for illegally launching two- and three-digit lottery schemes more than a decade ago.

    In July 2020, the Supreme Court sentenced Thaksin to five years in prison over his shareholding in his family-owned firm Shin Corp, and over his government’s altering concession fees and excise taxes in favour of two of its subsidiaries.
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  3. #3
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Has Thaksin finally found a way of returning to Thailand through the front door?
    All hinges on this. If enough "conservatives" aka the oligarchy want Prayut gone he will be.

    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    he wants to test the waters to see if conservative forces remain strong in their support for Prayut and opposed to his return.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
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    Hmm think I'd Prefer Yingluck to return first, Thaksin is old hat now, best to use young blood.

    PT should be trying to join forces with FFP, kick all the old cronies into touch and bring young fresh blood into the game.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    There is fuck all chance of him coming back without being slapped in irons. It's not just the military that have it in for him.

    He's not stupid, this is just carnival barking for the masses.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    this is just carnival barking for the masses
    Which maybe a good way of wakening up the masses again, anyway Prayuth and cronies are doing a good job of their own downfall.

  7. #7
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chico View Post
    Which maybe a good way of wakening up the masses again, anyway Prayuth and cronies are doing a good job of their own downfall.
    They can do whatever they want, they have an army behind them.

    Although the majority want Thaksin to return, in reality it will never happen.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
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    ^ Nah Buddy when it hurts the inner circle things change.

  9. #9
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    It all depends on what he we are not allowed to talk about wants and thinks about thaksin....

  10. #10
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    ...which is only ever via the rumour mill anyway.

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