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Thai PM sees a role for Thaksin when he gets out of jail

“Let’s play it by ear.”

Yes, you heard right. In a recent interview at the UN General Assembly in New York, Thailand’s new Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, indicated his willingness to involve the former Prime Minister, then fugitive, now inmate, Thaksin Shinawatra in the government once he is released from prison.

The interview was with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin.

“I believe he has value to add to the government and to the people of Thailand.”

The new PM says he’s determined to revitalise Thailand’s economy, which has underperformed recently compared to its SE Asian neighbours following nearly a decade of military-dominated rule.

“He was, and probably still is, the most popular prime minister in the history of Thai politics. If Thaksin were to regain his freedom, seeking his advice would be wise.”

Thaksin returned to Thailand on August 22 after more than 15 years in self-exile abroad. He is currently recuperating from surgery at Police General Hospital. Thaksin was initially sentenced to an eight-year prison term, later reduced to one year by HM the King. Thaksin’s charges related to abuse of authority and conflict of interest.

PM Srettha’s attendance at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly is his first overseas engagement since taking office earlier this month. He is scheduled to address the General Assembly tomorrow.

Despite his limited political experience after a long career in the private sector as a property developer, Mr. Srettha expressed confidence in the stability of the 11 party ruling coalition, which includes military-aligned parties from the previous administration. The previous coalition was made up from 21 political parties.

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