Thaksin is father of the bride ahead of election

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, right, walks with Princess Ubolratana of Thailand, and followed by his daughter Pintongtha "Aim", left, and her husband Nattapong "Pong" Kunakornwong as they arrive at the wedding of Thaksin's youngest daughter Paetongtarn "Ing" Shinawatra at a hotel in Hong Kong, Friday, March 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Hong Kong (AP) —Exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra won’t know until Sunday whether people in his homeland are still fans of his politics, but he was happy as he hosted a wedding reception in Hong Kong on Friday for his youngest daughter.

Thaksin was not able to attend the actual marriage ceremony in Thailand last Sunday of his youngest daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, with Pidok Sooksawas, a pilot at a commercial airline. He beamed in through a video link, however, a method he frequently used to talk to his followers in the early years of his exile.

Princess Ubolratana Mahidol, who made an abortive attempt last month to be a prime ministerial candidate, was a special guest at the Hong Kong event. Also a present was Thaksin’s sister, former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

A video posted on Instagram by a guest at Friday’s reception showed the bride, evidently referring to her father, telling guests: “You know the reason why I — we — have this wedding this far away from our hometown. It’s because home is where your heart is, and my heart is right here.”

Reporters hovering outside the entrance to Hong Kong’s Rosewood Hotel were able to shout a few questions to Thaksin as he escorted guests inside but received only brief answers. He said he was “very happy” in English, and when asked in Thai how he felt about the elections, he replied, “I don’t know yet.”