Fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said once again that he wants to return home to Thailand by July, before his birthday, to care for his grandchildren.
Thaksin, currently living in self-exile in Dubai, made the statement on Twitter on Tuesday, May 9th.
He wrote: “Once again, I would like to ask for permission to return to Thailand from whomever it may concern. I am determined to return home by July before my birthday to take care of my grandchildren. It has been nearly 17 years since I was parted from my family. I am already old.”
Although possibly the most influential and divisive former leader of Thailand, he has failed to keep pledges to return numerous times, but his remarks on Tuesday were the first time in recent years that includes a timeframe.
On the same day, Thaksin later posted that he will not be a burden for the Pheu Thai Party, the influential political party that he had founded back in 2007, citing he will enter the legal process.
The Pheu Thai Party is expected to win a majority in the May 14th election and spearhead the government formation, according to many political pundits, although the Move Forward party has also been gaining politically.
The former prime minister’s longing to come back is based on his wish to look after his seven grandchildren.
On May 1st, Thaksin tweeted that he was delighted that his daughter Paetongtarn “Ung Ing” Shinawatra had just given birth to his seventh grandchild, a boy nicknamed Thasin.
All of his grandchildren were born after he left the country. He said he will be 74 in July and asked for permission to see and care for his grandchildren in Thailand. Thaksin’s birthday is July 26.
It remains to be seen if the ousted premier will be able to make good with this latest return-home promise as he has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison after Thai courts found him guilty in many corruption cases.