Thaksin Voices Strong Support for PM Srettha Amid Court Case

Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra expressed his strong support for Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin amidst a Constitutional Court case that could potentially remove him from office.

“I hope the Prime Minister can remain in his role for as long as possible,” said the ex-premier, who has praised Srettha’s leadership since he assumed office in August.

In a recent interview with the Thai press, the former Prime Minister downplayed the risk that the legal challenge, initiated by 40 outgoing senators, could overthrow Srettha.

“I don’t think the case will lead to Srettha’s collapse. It might cause temporary confusion and briefly halt the country, but there’s no problem if Srettha can defend himself.”

The controversy revolves around Srettha’s decision to appoint Pichit Chuenban as Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, contradicting a 2008 Supreme Court verdict that sentenced Pichit to six months in jail for attempting to bribe judiciary officials.

The senators claim this appointment breaches the constitutional standards for ministerial roles.

Srettha, a member of the Pheu Thai Party led by Thaksin’s youngest daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra, faces the possibility of losing his position if convicted.

Nonetheless, Thaksin, often viewed as the figurehead of the party, voiced his trust in Srettha’s governance and moral character.

When questioned about being a potential target of the senators, Thaksin responded with humor.

“I’m no longer a suitable target. I’m too old. Let’s live in harmony and concentrate on our respective affairs.”

Thaksin spoke these words while in Nakhon Ratchasima attending the funeral of his former driver. His return to Thailand last August, which coincided with Srettha’s election, marked the end of his 15-year voluntary exile.

Thaksin’s eight-year corruption conviction was reduced to one year by a royal clemency, and he was released on parole in February, considering his advanced age and health concerns.

Despite the ongoing legal troubles surrounding Srettha, Thaksin remains hopeful, highlighting the importance of political continuity and encouraging his followers to support the current administration. “He’s performing well and needs more time.”