Thailand`s PM-to-be denies job for Thaksin

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 - 12:56

Bangkok: Thailand`s next leader Yingluck Shinawatra on Wednesday dismissed mounting speculation that her brother Thaksin, who was ousted in a 2006 coup, will be given an official role under her tenure.

Yingluck, who fronted the opposition Puea Thai party`s election campaign as the political stand-in for her fugitive sibling, stormed to victory in Sunday`s polls and has assembled a five-party coalition.

But she dismissed media reports that said Thaksin, who lives in self-imposed exile in Dubai to avoid a jail term for corruption, was likely to become a government trade envoy promoting the kingdom`s exports abroad.

"It`s not true, there is no such position appointed," Yingluck told reporters as she arrived at her party`s headquarters in Bangkok for a meeting with economic advisers.

"There is no role for Thaksin. He is only giving moral support and advice," she said. "He is fine overseas and he is not anticipating getting any political position. He merely wants to see national reconciliation."

The return of Thaksin, a deeply divisive figure in Thailand, would risk angering his foes in the Bangkok-based elites in the military, palace and bureaucracy and could spark further turmoil after years of violent protests.

After his sister`s win, Thaksin said he had no plan to return to office himself and that setting foot back in Thailand was not a priority, but he has previously expressed hopes to be at his daughter`s wedding in December.

Yingluck, who is yet to be officially appointed by a new Parliament, has formed a five-party coalition that will control about three fifths of the lower house seats, but the new cabinet line-up is yet to be announced.

"No single cabinet post has been named. Today I want to focus firstly on policy, and how to implement our campaign platform," she said.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 - 12:56

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