23 Apr '11, 8am

Thaksin urges army to stay out of Thai politics

BANGKOK: Thailand's fugitive ex-leader Thaksin Shinawatra on Saturday urged the military not to meddle in politics and pledged allegiance to the throne as he outlined the opposition's election platform. The former billionaire telecoms tycoon was ousted in a 2006 military coup and lives overseas to avoid a jail term imposed in absentia for corruption, but is widely seen as the de facto leader of the opposition Puea Thai party. He called for a free and fair election in an address by video link to a Puea Thai party meeting. "The military must not intervene to set up a government like last time when it formed a government in the barracks," added Thaksin, who said he was speaking from Dubai. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who came to power in a 2008 parliamentary vote with the backing of the military, has said he expects a general election to be held by early July. Thai...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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