Thaksin urges ‘free and fair’ elections in Thailand


11.16.07, 7:04 AM ET

BANGKOK (Thomson Financial) – Thailand’s deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday urged the nation’s post-coup rulers to ensure that next month’s elections are free and fair.

Thaksin made the remarks in a video address to a Bangkok press conference held by English Premier League club Manchester City, which he bought after the military toppled his government in September 2006.

The army-installed government has scheduled elections for December 23, which Thaksin said he hoped would bring a ‘stable and prospering democracy.’

‘When I was your prime minister, I ran a government that promoted and defended free and fair elections. As the December elections approach, I hope the military junta and the next government will do the same,’ he said.

‘What matters to me is that all Thai people are able to vote in a democratic election so that when I am able to return safely to Thailand with my family, it will be to a stable and prospering democracy,’ he added.

Thaksin’s video address was a way to get his image before reporters in Thailand, where the military has barred television networks from showing his picture and warned newspapers to limit their coverage of him.

He has lived in London since the coup, and says he will not return until democracy is restored. He faces a raft of corruption charges brought by the new government, which has frozen about 65 billion baht or 1.9 billion US dollars of his assets.

His three children, who are on the board of Man City, were at the press conference where manager Sven-Goran Eriksson announced the signing of three Thai players.


Thaksin urges ‘free and fair’ elections in Thailand –



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