12/27/2007, 00.00
THAILAND
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The ex-premier Thaksin is considering a return to the country, but he risks arrest

After the victory of the People's Power party, which is very close to the former prime minister, the road has been opened for the return of Thaksin Shinawatra, who was driven out last year by a military coup, but is still greatly admired by the population.
Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The former prime minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra, could soon return to the country after his voluntary exile more than a year ago, following the military coup against his government. Despite the fact that the People's Power party (which is very closely tied to him) won the last parliamentary elections, the politician would risk arrest by re-entering the country.
 
Thaksin himself confirms this, explaining from Hong Kong: "I will prove my innocence in the accusations of corruption made against me by the military junta . . . I really want to go back as a normal citizen. Enough is enough for politics . . . [But if] they want my opinion and ideas, then I will give it to them".
 
According to the latest results, in the elections last December 25, the People's Power party - which since its formation has declared its intention of securing the return of the ex-premier - obtained 233 of the 480 seats available in parliament. His main rival, the Democratic party, remained at 165.
 
According to some analysts, the success of the People's Power party demonstrates that the population did not approve of the coup last December which, although it was not violent, was nevertheless perceived as an injustice against Thaksin, who is still very popular, especially in rural areas. It is still not clear how the current military junta will react to the next formation of a civilian government, but the generals have declared firmly that the former prime minister "could be arrested as soon as he sets foot again in Thailand".
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