Thai PM sparks debate with plans to seek advice from ex-PM Thaksin

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Thai Prime Minister and Finance Minister has sparked heated debates among politicians with his new intention to seek counsel from former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, upon his release from prison. Srettha Thavisin revealed in an interview with Bloomberg Television that he values Thaksin’s political advice, describing him as the country’s most popular prime minister, hence “it would be unwise of me not to seek his opinion.”

However, this statement has been met with mixed reactions in Parliament. Senator Somchai Sawangkarn expressed his concerns on Friday over the possible repercussions of having Thaksin as an adviser.

Although acknowledging Thaksin’s past contributions, Somchai reminded of Thaksin’s conviction in three cases, which resulted in a total eight-year jail term, later reduced to one year due to a royal pardon. He also highlighted the ongoing speculations about Thaksin’s health, who has been in the Police General Hospital for over a month.

Somchai further stated It is too fast for the 61 year old PM to decide to appoint Thaksin as an adviser, as the matter will undermine confidence and faith in judicial procedures. He insisted that Thaksin should complete his one-year jail term and warned of potential civil unrest if he is prematurely released.

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The Senate Committee on Political Development and Public Participation is set to convene next Monday, inviting relevant officials such as the permanent secretary of the Justice Ministry, the Corrections Department director-general, and representatives of the Royal Thai Police, to discuss Thaksin’s medical condition.

Dr Warong Dechgitvigrom, chairman of the Thai Pakdee Party, also expressed his disapproval of Thaksin’s proposed advisory role, arguing that it could tarnish the government’s image by indicating that the government could not find anyone better than a convict charged with corruption.

On the other hand, Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, President of the Senate, and Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, both voiced their support for Thavisin’s idea.

Wichitcholchai viewed Thavisin’s proposal as just an idea, implying that the former PM might see potential benefits for the country from his experience.

Echoing the same sentiments, Wechayachai praised Thaksin’s six years of national administration experience, indicating that it could be beneficial to work with him and hear his advice, 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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