Chavalit says Thaksin wants to come home

Chavalit says Thaksin wants to come home

Former prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh (left) talks to reporters at a Bangkok restaurant Friday. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
Former prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh (left) talks to reporters at a Bangkok restaurant Friday. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

Former prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said Friday he was unlikely to team up with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and advised Thaksin Shinawatra on what to do so he could return home.

He told reporters at a restaurant in Bangkok that he talked to Thaksin a few days ago.

"How can Thaksin come home? There's a way," Gen Chavalit said.

"Thaksin can do that by helping Thai people. How many countries has he visited? Brunei, Dubai, Venezuela, Egypt and especially the Middle East. Many people [in this world] need rice and Thaksin can help sell first-class Thai rice to them."

Reporters asked if Thaksin wanted to return.

"I know that from his voice. It's a heart-to-heart talk. Everyone wants to return home. What did Khun Thaksin do for most of the 65 million people? If the 65 million want Khun Thaksin home, I'll ask whether he can come home," said Gen Chavalit, who was a deputy prime minister under the Thaksin administration.

Asked if he would support Gen Prayut as the next prime minister, Gen Chavalit said Gen Prayut would not seek his support because he knew he couldn't get it.

On the possibility Gen Prayut's National Council for Peace and Order would succeed in prolonging its power, Gen Chavalit said it was impossible as it would end up the same way as other coupmakers did.

Gen Chavalit, now 86, had led the New Aspiration Party earlier with heavy influence in the Northeast, the biggest region of the country.

Thaksin left Thailand in 2008 just before the Supreme Court handed him a two-year jail term for conflict of interest in his ex-wife's bid for a state-own land plot in inner Bangkok in 2003 when he was prime minister. He had been in self-imposed exile since. Five lawsuits against him have been taken up by the court for politicians after a law passed this year allows for trial in absentia.

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