BANGKOK, May 1 (Reuters) – Thaksin Shinawatra, the exiled
former prime minister of Thailand ousted in a military coup
last year, has been elected president of the country’s
professional golf association, local media reported on Tuesday.
The billionaire telecoms baron, who has not retuned to
Thailand since the bloodless putsch on Sept. 19, won a
unanimous vote to take over the TPGA presidency from former
cabinet minister Pongsak Raktapongpisal.
Pongsak said Thaksin, a keen golfer, had no plans to return
to politics and his exile would not prevent him from doing the
“Although he is not in Thailand, work will proceed
effectively,” the Nation newspaper quoted Pongsak as saying.
Thaksin, whom coup leaders accuse of corruption and
cronyism during his five years in office, has been told he can
return home to fight legal cases if summonsed by courts.
He has been living in London since his ouster and has spent
much his time in Asia travelling and playing golf, which he
insists is for relaxation and not political purposes.
UPDATED: 10:10, May 02, 2007
Thai military leader surprised by Thaksin’s new golf post
Council for National Security chairman Sonthi Boonyaratkalin on Tuesday
expressed astonishment at the election of ousted prime minister Thaksin
Shinawatra as president of the Professional Golf Association of
He said the nomination was caused by certain individuals who
have problems with their thinking process, and should be admitted for
mental consulting, according to the Bangkok Post’s website.
Sonthi said the nomination might have something to do with
Thaicom Foundation having donated some money to the golf group. The
foundation, initiating the satellite education program for young
children in remote areas unable to continue their education at the
secondary school level, was founded by Mr. Thaksin.
However, the military leader did not reveal if the authorities will intervene the golf post of the nation.
Pongsak Raktapongpaisal, who was deputy secretary-general of
the Thai Rak Thai party, said Monday Thaksin was delighted to accept
the post, adding that he was suitable for the title due to his
contribution to the association.
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