To view the Interview click here!
Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand‘s former prime minister, is a divisive figure in his homeland. His opponentas and supporters have staged mass demonstrations that have at times turned violent.
He became the first Thai prime minister to serve a full term in office and win a second. He continues to have a lot of support in many rural areas of Thailand, particularly in the north east where his healthcare programmes for the poor and help for farmers were especially popular.
But in 2006, facing increasing scrutiny over his financial dealings, he was ousted in a military coup while he was in the US. The former leader eventually returned to Thailand but fled again in 2008 to avoid a two year jail term for corruption. He now lives in self-imposed exile in Dubai.
Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay caught up with him at his home in the Gulf emirate to discuss his future role in politics, elections in Thailand and whether he can admit any fault on his part leading up to the coup.
“I can say sorry, nobody’s perfect, when you rule the country for six years you might say something that is not satisfactory to different sectors, but what democracy is all about is the majority. Every time we have elections, we have more and more majority and in the last election we won with a 377 majority, before being ousted by a coup d’etat. That’s 77 per cent of members of parliament,” says Thaksin.
- Thai PM rallies crowds at sensitive protest site (ctv.ca)
- Former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra supports ‘clone’ sister (telegraph.co.uk)
- Meet Thailand’s Yingluck Shinawatra (dave-lucas.blogspot.com)
- Former Thai PM: No plans to return to leadership (seattletimes.nwsource.com)