PM snubs Thaksin offer to help secure vaccines

PM snubs Thaksin offer to help secure vaccines

Red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship supporters hold a birthday party for ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawtra at a bookshop at Imperial World shopping mall in Lat Phrao, Bangkok, in July 2016. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship supporters hold a birthday party for ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawtra at a bookshop at Imperial World shopping mall in Lat Phrao, Bangkok, in July 2016. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has rejected an offer from former PM Thaksin Shinawatra to help Thailand secure more Covid-19 vaccines from Russia.

Gen Prayut was responding to remarks made by the self-exiled former premier during a live broadcast on the audio-based social networking app Clubhouse on Tuesday.

Mr Thaksin noted that Thailand's Covid-19 vaccine rollout had been proceeding too slowly and suggested more vaccine should be sourced from many producers, not just Sinovac and AstraZeneca.

He said several high-profile business people in Thailand had the capability and extensive connections to secure more vaccines with manufacturers in countries like China and Russia.

The government should ask the tycoons for help, Mr Thaksin said, "or I could talk with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, if you want".

Asked to comment on the former premier's s remarks, Gen Prayut said: "I won't answer. Don't relay a question from someone who is not in the country.

"I don't know him. Just leave him be."

The Clubhouse session was hosted by the CARE group of politicians, including Dr Surapong Suebwonglee, Duangrit Bunnag and Theerat Rattanasewi.

Mr Thaksin joined the forum under the alias of Tony Woodsome.

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