Former PM Thaksin postpones return to Thailand

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Thaksin, a former telecoms tycoon who became prime minister in 2001 and was ousted in 2006, has lived in self-imposed exile since 2008 to avoid graft convictions, which he claims were politically motivated.

Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said on Saturday (5 Aug) that he was postponing his return from self-exile as Thailand struggles to overcome a political deadlock following the general election in May.

Thaksin, a former telecoms tycoon who became prime minister in 2001 and was ousted in 2006, has lived in self-imposed exile since 2008 to avoid graft convictions, which he claims were politically motivated.



On Saturday, he said in a post on X – the social media platform formerly known as Twitter – that he needed a medical checkup and would delay by “a couple of weeks” his return, which was originally planned for August 10.

The Pheu Thai Party came second in the May election after the Move Forward Party. Earlier this week, Pheu Thai took the lead in trying to form a government without Move Forward, whose own attempts to form a government had been unsuccessful.

The Constitution requires a joint sitting of the elected Lower House and the appointed Senate to vote for a prime minister.



Move Forward has twice sought to have party leader Pita Limjaroenrat endorsed as prime minister by the two houses of parliament, but was unsuccessful both times.

Pheu Thai said earlier this week that it would nominate Srettha Thavisin, a real estate magnate, as its prime ministerial candidate, and Parliament had been set to vote on his candidacy on Friday (4 August).

However, that vote was postponed pending a Constitutional Court review, due August 16, of the parliamentary proceeding that blocked Pita’s renomination for the vote the second time. (NNT)