6 June 2024

Fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra announced today (Saturday) that he is delaying his return to Thailand again, this time citing medical reasons.

Thaksin tweeted that he is postponing his return for no more than two weeks, adding “My doctors say I should have physical examination first.”

His youngest daughter, Paetongtarn, announced on July 26 that her father would return to Thailand on August 10.

Paetongtarn’s claim was the first time that a specific date of return was mentioned and was made on her father’s 74th birthday. She quoted him as saying that he “will be able to see his grandchildren off to school.”

Thaksin now postponed his return 20 times throughout his 17 years of self-imposed exile. Thaksin was ousted in a coup in 2006. During his absence, the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Office sentenced him to a total of 12 years imprisonment in four cases.

The postponement of Thaksin’s return coincides with a further delay in selecting the country’s next prime minister, which was due to have taken place yesterday, but which has been delayed until at least August 18.