Thaksin voices support for Srettha amid court case

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra voiced his unwavering support for Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin amidst a Constitutional Court case that threatens to unseat him.

“I want the prime minister to stay in office as long as possible.”

Thaksin praised the Bangkok-born Srettha’s performance since taking office last August.

In a rare interview with Thai media, the ex-PM dismissed concerns that the court case, instigated by 40 outgoing senators, would topple PM Srettha.

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“I don’t think the case will lead to Srettha’s collapse. It might cause temporary confusion and halt the country briefly, but there’s no problem if Srettha can defend himself.”

The case centres on Srettha’s appointment of Pichit Chuenban as Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, despite a 2008 Supreme Court order that sentenced Pichit to six months in prison for attempting to bribe court officials. The senators argue this violates constitutional qualifications for ministerial appointments.

The 62 year old Thai premier, a member of the Pheu Thai Party led by Thaksin’s youngest daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra, risks losing his seat if found guilty. However, Thaksin, seen by many as the party’s patriarch, expressed confidence in Srettha’s leadership and integrity.

When asked if he felt targeted by the senators, the 74 year old Thaksin laughed it off.

“I don’t deserve to be a target anymore. I am old. Let’s coexist peacefully and focus on our own business.”

Thaksin made these remarks during a visit to Nakhon Ratchasima for the funeral of his former chauffeur. His return to Thailand last August, coinciding with Srettha’s election, ended a 15-year self-imposed exile.

Thaksin’s eight-year corruption sentence was reduced to one year by royal pardon, and he was released on parole in February due to his age and health issues.

Despite the legal clouds hanging over PM Srettha, Thaksin remains optimistic, emphasising the need for political stability and urging his supporters to back the current government, reported The Nation.

“He is doing a good job, and he needs more time.”

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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