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Pattaya Daily News

01 June 2011 :: 09:06:05 am 54293

Exclusive: Thaksin denies Thai leadership plans

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a military takeover nearly five years ago, has denied he plans to return to his homeland to retake the leadership.
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In an interview which will air on ABC’s Lateline tonight, Mr Thaksin predicts his sister will lead the opposition Pheu Thai party to a landslide election victory in July.

The opposition’s slogan is “Thaksin thinks, Pheu Thai acts”, but Mr Thaksin says he has no plans to take over from his sister Yingluck.

“My youngest sister is already there, so [there is] no need for me to go back as a prime minister,” he said.

“I may influence in terms of the ideas and things because I have more experience than others.”

“I just want to see them successful. And I just share my experience as former prime minister and experience of running around the whole world.”

Mr Thaksin has been back to Thailand only once since he was ousted in a coup five years ago, but from as far away as Dubai, he still exerts influence.

He remains the figurehead of the anti-government Red Shirt movement, which clashed violently with government troops when they dispersed a long-running mass rally in Bangkok this time last year.

Mr Thaksin says he would only return as leader of Thailand if it was “extremely necessary”.

“If the country need me because of some situation that I can be the solution, I will. If not, please, I don’t want to,” he said.

The former prime minister remains a divisive figure who has avoided a two-year jail term for a conflict of interest conviction by moving overseas.

He has been accused of operating outside the rule of law in a deadly crackdown on drug dealers and in relation to policies benefiting his businesses, but he refutes both allegations as politically motivated.

He also denies that new opposition plans for amnesty for political prisoners, if it wins office, are about bringing him back.

“Reconciliation is the priority, not the amnesty … Amnesty may be part of it, but not all,” he said.

Let’s bring back the unity for the country first. If in the process of bringing back the unity of the country I’m part of it, then I might benefit [as] part of it.

“But I don’t care much because I’m quite settled outside.”

Mr Thaksin says he will return to Thailand before the end of the year if conditions are right.

Report by : abc.net.au

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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