THAILAND’S ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday said the country is worse off under the ruling junta which has targeted his family over the past twelve years.
The exiled former sharp criticism comes days after of the junta’s move to ease bans on political activities for the elections that must be held by May next year, the AFP reported.
Thaksin, who comes from the Shinawatra clan — a wealthy and powerful family — took to social media to air his frustration at the current state of affairs in the kingdom following the two coups that took place over the past decade.
“Certainly there were people who benefited and got rich from the coups, but there were many more who suffered immensely in many aspects of life.,” the 69-year-old said on the eve of the anniversary of his ousting.
“The worst thing was the damage it had caused to the standing of our beloved country in the eye of the world community.”
“Have we and our country not suffered enough already until now?”
Thaksin’s official Facebook page has more than 2.6 million followers and his post quickly went viral.
“No jobs, no money,” Facebook user Thawat Thanmunkongkul said.
“The country needs people with good management to push Thailand to prosperity. Our country is now suffering.”
In March, Thailand’s Supreme Court issued a new arrest warrant for Thaksin after resuming his trial in absentia on alleged manipulation of policy for personal gain 15 years ago.
The revival of the case was made possible under a new law that took effect last year, allowing the trial of politicians after they have fled the country.
The former PM has been in self-imposed exile since 2008 after he was put on trial for allegedly wrongfully changing regulations on telecom concession fees in favour of companies he owned, causing a loss to the state of 68 billion Thai baht (US$2.2 billion), during his time in office.
The charge is one of many cases shelved after Thaksin fled that could be revived under the new provision.
Despite undergoing numerous delays under current Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the election is slated to take place by May next year after the country’s monarch King Maha Vajiralongkorn approved two bills requiring the country to hold its polls by May 2019.
The election is the first of its kind since the military seized power in a 2014 coup, unseating civilian leader, and Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra.
Yingluck is also in exile after being sentenced to five years’ jail in September after being found guilty of negligence for the mismanagement of a billion dollar rice subsidy scheme. She was seen travelling along with her brother.