Thaksin to return on Tuesday - daughter

Thaksin to return on Tuesday - daughter

Paetongtarn "Ung Ing" Shinawatra celebrates a birthday party with her father and fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. (Photo: @ingshin21 Instagram)

Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra will return to Thailand on Tuesday, his youngest daughter Paetongtarn "Ung Ing" Shinawatra announced on social media on Saturday.

"On Tuesday Aug 22 at 9am, I will be at Don Mueang (airport) to welcome my father Thaksin," Ms Paetongtarn, one of the Pheu Thai Party's three prime ministerial candidates, wrote on her Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter, on Saturday morning.

She also posted a message saying her father's planned return to his home country was not cancelled but delayed, adding that this is not a nonsense statement.

Tuesday is also the day on which parliamentarians will meet to vote for a new prime minister. The Pheu Thai-led coalition is expected to nominate property tycoon Srettha Thavisin but it is still not clear whether he will have the necessary support.

On Thaksin's 74th birthday on July 26, Ms Paetongtarn announced that her father was set to arrive at Don Mueang airport on Aug 10, but political observers, including Chuvit Kamolvisit and Jatuporn Prompan, insisted they had reasons to believe his homecoming plan was nothing but hot air. This prompted a reaction from Ms Paetongtarn, who said Mr Chuvit's comment was "nonsense".

On Aug 5, the fugitive former prime minister and patriarch of Pheu Thai posted on X, saying he was postponing his return from self-exile for a couple of weeks, as a doctor wanted him to undergo health checkups.

Thaksin, a former telecoms tycoon, has been living in self-imposed exile since being overthrown by a military coup on Sept 19, 2006.

A caretaker government headed by Thaksin’s sister Yingluck was overthrown by a coup led by Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha in 2014. She fled the country in 2017 prior to being sentenced in connection with corruption in a rice-pledging scheme. It is not known if she will also make an attempt to come back to Thailand.

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