Ex-PM Thaksin says his supporters could win an election

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Former Prime Ministers Thaksin Shinawatra, left, and his sister Yingluck Shinawatra attend an event in Tokyo Thursday. March 29. (Kyodo News via AP)
Former Prime Ministers Thaksin Shinawatra, left, and his sister Yingluck Shinawatra attend an event in Tokyo Thursday. March 29. (Kyodo News via AP)

Tokyo (AP) — Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has called for a return to democracy in Thailand and predicts a political party led by his supporters could easily win an election.

Thaksin attended a reception in Tokyo on Thursday with his sister Yingluck. He briefly answered questions from a reporter in a video posted on the website of Japan’s Asahi newspaper.

He said he is not involved with the Pheu Thai Party, but added: “I believe that we have many good people in (the) Pheu Thai Party. They should be able to lead the party to another landslide victory.”

Thaksin was prime minister from 2001-2006, before going into a self-imposed exile in 2008 to avoid serving a prison term on a conflict of interest charge. His political machine made a comeback in a 2011 election under Pheu Thai, a reconstitution of his original Thai Rak Thai Party, and his sister Yingluck became prime minister.

Gen. Prayuth’s current military-led government has pursued changes in the constitution and other measures to try to prevent another comeback by Thaksin’s political machine.