July 31, 2023
BANGKOK – Three political “gurus” – a whistleblower, a former red-shirt leader and a lawyer – have all expressed doubts about former PM Thaksin Shinawatra returning on August 10.
Jatuporn Prompan, a former leader of the red-shirt movement, said in a Facebook Live session on Sunday that he does not believe Thaksin is ready to serve his jail terms. Hence, he said, he expects the fugitive former PM to cancel his plan to return on August 10.
He said Thaksin will not return because at this point, he can’t be sure that he will receive a royal pardon for his corruption conviction.
Jatuporn pointed out that Thaksin has tried 20 times over the past 17 years to negotiate a royal pardon so he would not have to serve jail time. However, all 20 attempts have flopped.
The red-shirt leader, who has been jailed a few times himself, said Thaksin should first accept the fact that he cannot avoid going behind bars before he returns home.
“Therefore, I believe he will not return on August 10 as announced,” Jatuporn said.
Lawyer Paisal Puechmongkol, who was also a former assistant to Deputy PM General Prawit Wongsuwan, said he believes Thaksin’s return on August 10 was only announced so Pheu Thai could gain an upper hand in the game of politics.
“Don’t waste your time on this false news,” Paisal said.
He also said that according to astrology, Thaksin’s return will only be confirmed after August 20, without elaborating.
Meanwhile, whistleblower Chuwit Kamolvisit said in a Facebook post on Sunday that if Thaksin was willing to be jailed, he would have returned a long time ago.
“Anybody who thinks Thaksin will return on August 10, when police and correction officials will be waiting to take him to jail for 10 years, is wrong to believe so,” Chuwit said.
“Those who have such beliefs do not understand Thaksin. If he really wanted to return, he would have done so instead of waiting 15 to 16 years.”
Chuwit noted that Thaksin went on self-imposed exile in 2008 when late former PM Samak Sundaravej led the government. Samak hailed from Thaksin’s People Power Party.
Chuwit said he believes Thaksin has a hidden agenda for timing his return while the country is in the process of setting up a new government. He added that Thaksin will postpone his return again if Pheu Thai is not able to form a new government.
He added that though Thaksin can seek royal clemency from his first day in jail, there has been no precedence of the King absolving convicts in any cases other than lese majeste ones.