Thai PM denies plans to appoint Thaksin Shinawatra as adviser post-prison

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

Prime Minister and Finance Minister Srettha Thavisin denied reports that he plans to appoint former premier Thaksin Shinawatra as his adviser upon his release from prison. PM Srettha addressed these reports while attending the 78 Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The 61 year old PM clarified that he was asked by a journalist if he would seek Thaksin’s advice on national affairs, to which he responded that he would if required. This has sparked speculation about who holds the real power in the government – Srettha, or Thaksin, who is reputed to have played a significant role in the new PM’s appointment.

PM Srettha told Bloomberg Television that he would seek political advice from Thaksin once he was freed from prison. He also confirmed that he would be open to advice from all former prime ministers. The first former prime minister he consulted after assuming office was General Prayut Chan-o-cha. He has also had discussions with other ex-premiers, including Anand Panyarachun and Somchai Wongsawat.

PM Srettha praised Thaksin, describing him as the country’s most popular prime minister. He opined that it would be unwise not to seek his opinion upon his release. However, Srettha did not believe that Thaksin would accept the role of adviser if offered.

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Thaksin has been prime minister for years. He wouldn’t want to be my adviser. He has other roles and responsibilities in mind, the prime minister explained.

In a related development, Pita Limjaroenrat, the former leader of the Move Forward Party (MFP), stated that there was nothing inappropriate about the PM seeking advice from Thaksin on prime ministerial matters.

Political offenders

The MFP is currently drafting a law to provide amnesty to political offenders, with members from various parties preparing to present the bill to Parliament.

In the meantime, a regular petitioner Srisuwan Janya, has announced plans to submit a petition demanding the Department of Corrections to make public the daily record of Thaksin’s treatment at the Police General Hospital and the names of his visitors.

According to Justice Ministry regulations, two corrections officials must accompany inpatient prisoners at all times and are required to record all activities at the hospital.

Srisuwan argued that these records are not confidential medical documents and should be disclosed as they are general records, which the Department of Corrections is obligated to reveal and clarify.

If the records are concealed, I will take a case to court. The law must apply to everyone regardless of a person’s financial or political stature, Srisuwan stated, Bangkok Post reported.

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Atima Homtientong

Atima is a dedicated news writer living in Bangkok. With a degree from Mahidol University, she focuses on reporting key issues and happenings around the country. In her off time, Atima enjoys writing and producing music.

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