By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PHEU THAI LEADER Chonlanan Srikaew today (Jan.8) categorically denied the largest opposition party’s rank and file had ever planned to bring former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra back home on condition that they become government after the next general election.
In a press conference at the Pheu Thai party headquarters, the Pheu Thai leader dismissed widespread speculation that his party will manage to bring back home Thaksin who has been residing in self-exile overseas since the 2006 coup.
Chonlanan said none of the Pheu Thai rank and file had fostered such bring-Thaksin-back-home schemes which, he said, could probably be used in a smear campaign against his camp during a current run-up to the general election.
“Whether or when Thaksin could finally return home ultimately has nothing to do with the ongoing Pheu Thai electoral campaigns,” Chonlanan said.
Chonlanan commented that his party would primarily look to address the country’s economic ills if they became a post-election government and that the Thaksin-homecoming issue would only be taken into account after the people’s economic conditions and welfare have considerably got better than today.
The Pheu Thai has reportedly planned to send a trio of partisan contestants for head of a post-election government, most likely including Thaksin’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra portraits of whom are ostensibly featured on streetside campaign posters of the party nationwide.
Thaksin who is invariably viewed by many people as the de facto Pheu Thai boss has earlier repeatedly encouraged the party’s rank and file to score a landslide victory in the nationwide election so, he said, he could return home and literally babysit his seven grandchildren.
Over the last two and a half decades, Thaksin had founded the Thai Rak Thai Party which had been dissolved by court and became the People’s Power Party which had also been dissolved and turned to be the Pheu Thai Party.
Speculated to return home alongside Thaksin is his sister/former premier Yingluck Shinawatra who was ousted in the 2014 coup orchestrated by army chief-turned-premier Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Top: Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew.
Insert: Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Front Page: Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra with his daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra. All photos: Thai Rath