Thailand’s Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra Granted Parole

Thailand’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is set to be released from detention after his parole was approved, announced Thailand’s justice minister. This development comes just six months after Thaksin’s return to the country, marking the conclusion of a lengthy political saga.

Thaksin, a prominent figure in Thai politics and a former owner of English Premier League soccer club Manchester City, served as prime minister from 2001 until he was ousted in a military coup in 2006. After spending 15 years in self-imposed exile, he returned to Thailand in August last year and was subsequently sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of conflict of interest, abuse of power, and corruption.

Despite his conviction, Thaksin’s prison sentence was swiftly reduced from eight years to one by Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn following a request for a royal pardon. Now, the justice minister has confirmed that Thaksin is among 930 inmates granted parole this month.

Thaksin, aged 74, met the criteria for parole as an inmate over 70 years old who has already served more than half of his sentence and is suffering from health issues. The exact date of his release is yet to be determined.

Throughout his political career, Thaksin garnered significant support from Thailand’s rural and working-class populations but faced opposition from the country’s elites and conservatives. Despite being in exile, his influence remained substantial, with parties affiliated with him consistently performing well in elections.

Thaksin’s imminent release comes at a politically tense time in Thailand, with ongoing legal battles involving opposition parties and contentious debates over issues such as royal reforms and freedom of speech. While his return may reignite divisions in Thai politics, some analysts speculate that Thaksin’s reduced jail term could indicate a behind-the-scenes agreement with the establishment.

Despite the uncertainties surrounding his release, Thaksin’s return marks a significant moment in Thailand’s political landscape, with implications that extend beyond his personal freedom.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *