Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has returned to Thailand after years of self-imposed exile. His arrival coincides with a crucial political moment as a party affiliated with him prepares to form a new government. While Thaksin insists his return is unrelated to the impending parliamentary vote. Many speculate that it is intricately tied to the party’s bid for power.
Thaksin Shinawatra, accompanied by his three children and grandchildren, flew from Singapore in his private jet. Landing at Don Mueang International Airport early in the morning. Meanwhile, live broadcasts captured the moment as he emerged from the airport’s private jet terminal. The ex-Prime Minister paid his respects to Thailand’s king and queen. Placing a flower wreath and prostrating before their portrait at the terminal gate. He briefly greeted supporters and the media but refrained from making any statements.
Ahead of Thaksin’s arrival, hundreds of his loyal supporters gathered at the airport, clad in red attire, a colour closely associated with him. They held signs with welcoming messages, sang songs, and chanted slogans, demonstrating their unwavering support.
The Pheu Thai Party and Ongoing Political Turmoil
Thaksin Shinawatra, a 74-year-old billionaire, gained notoriety for promoting populist policies and leveraging his telecommunications fortune to establish the Thai Rak Thai party. He was elected as prime minister in 2001 and easily secured re-election in 2005. However, his tenure was marked by controversy, culminating in his ousting in a military coup in 2006. He subsequently went into exile.
Upon his return, Thaksin‘s convoy made its first stop at the Supreme Court, where he was formally informed of previous convictions issued in his absence. Moreover, resulting in a cumulative sentence of 10 years imprisonment. Thaksin has consistently maintained that these convictions were politically motivated.
The Pheu Thai party, aligned with Thaksin, is the latest in a series of political entities associated with him. His ousting in the 2006 coup triggered years of political turmoil. Pitting a predominantly rural, lower-income majority in the north, which supports Thaksin, against royalists, the military, and their urban supporters.
As Thaksin’s return unfolds, Thailand finds itself at a crossroads. Indeed, with political tensions running high and the nation watching closely for any repercussions or developments resulting from his reappearance.