Ex-Prime Minister Thaksin returns from exile, further roiling Thai politics

Ex-Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra, has returned to the country after more than 15 years of self-imposed exile, coinciding with a parliamentary vote on the formation of a new government.

Context: Thaksin’s arrival comes amid a formation of new government that his Pheu Thai Party is expected to lead.
* Thaksin was taken to the Supreme Court upon his arrival, where he was sentenced to eight years in connection to three separate cases. However, it is unclear how much time he will actually serve.

Background: Thaksin, a telecommunications billionaire, first became prime minister in 2001 and was re-elected in 2005.
* He was dethroned by the military in 2006 over charges of corruption and abuse of office, which he claims are politically driven. He has avoided these charges by living in exile.

Political Legacy: Thaksin has remained a key player in Thai politics, even whilst in exile.
* His sister, Yingluck, served as prime minister from 2011 until her government was removed by a military coup in 2014.

Implication: Thaksin’s return has sparked speculations that it is tied to his party’s pursuit of power, adding further complexities to Thai politics.

View original article on NPR

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