Thaksin Shinawatra

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Thaksin Shinawatra

(täk`sĭn shĭ`näwät), 1949–, Thai business executive and political leader, b. Chiang Mai. Born into a wealthy merchant family, he went into the Thai police service in 1973 and continued his criminal-justice education in the United States. He rose to the rank of police lieutenant colonel by 1987, when he retired. He had started (1982) a computer business with his wife, and after leaving the police force grew his business interests into a major telecommunications company. One of Thailand's wealthiest persons, he entered politics and served as foreign minister (1994–95) and deputy prime minister (1995–96, 1997).

In 1998 he founded the Thai Rak Thai (Thais Love Thais; TRT) party, which in 2001 won nearly half the seats in parliament. Thaksin became prime minister of a three-party coalition government and avoided a five-year banning from politics later that year when he was narrowly cleared of charges of not fully disclosing his assets during his second term as deputy prime minister. In 2005 he led his party to a landslide victory, becoming the first Thai prime minister to win two consecutive elections. An outspoken populist and nationalist, he favored policies designed to help farmers and small businesses and oversaw a period of economic growth. His tenure was marred, however, by charges of favoring family and friends with government jobs and by a 2003 antidrug campaign in which 2,500 were killed.

Antigovernment demonstrations in 2005–6 led him to call snap elections in Apr., 2006, which his party won, but an opposition boycott led to numerous abstentions and 40 unfilled seats, leading Thaksin to step aside for "rest" (though he retained his post). The Thai military overthrew him in September while he was abroad; the king's displeasure with him was a contributing factor to the coup.

In Oct., 2006, Thaksin resigned as TRT party leader; by then the coup had led to the party's collapse. Seven months later, he was banned from political office for five years by the constitutional court when it found that the TRT party had violated electoral laws; the party was ordered dissolved. In June, 2007, the government moved to seize some of Thaksin's assets and ordered him to return to face corruption charges. He only returned, however, in Feb., 2008, after a government led by his political allies had been elected. Both he, his wife, and other family members have been charged with a number of crimes since his government's overthrow, and in 2008 his wife was convicted of tax evasion (her conviction was overturned in 2011). Permitted to leave Thailand temporarily in Aug., 2008, he and his wife subsequently stayed abroad. He was convicted of corruption two months later, and in November divorced his wife; the Thai supreme court ruled in 2010 that $1.4 billion of his family's assets were gained illegally and would be confiscated. In Nov., 2009, Thaksin was made an economic adviser to Cambodia's government; the appointment further strained the already difficult relations between the two nations. In the 2011 elections, the Phuea Thai (For Thais; PTP) party, led by his sister Yingluck ShinawatraYingluck Shinawatra
1967–, Thai business executive and political leader, first female prime minister of Thailand (2011–14), grad. Chiang Mai Univ. (B.A., 1988), Kentucky State Univ. (M.P.A., 1991).
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, won; she was forced from power in 2014.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Thai foreign ministry reissued an ordinary passport to ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Oct.
Bangkok, Dec 17 (ANI): Thailand has issued a new passport to fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to replace one revoked by the previous government.
Thaksin Shinawatra served as the country's political head from 2001 to 2006, when he was forcibly removed from power when the army seized control of the capital.
Exiled former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said on Monday he had no wish to become prime minister again in the wake of a landslide election victory for his sister's opposition party.
THE sister of Thailand's exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra led the country's main opposition party to a landslide election victory yesterday.
Ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and the Pheu Thai Party have called them traitors.
4bn of frozen bank assets belonging to Thaksin Shinawatra, the country's former prime minister, and his family on charges of abuse of power during his dual premiership between 2001 and 2006.
FORMER Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra was yesterday convicted of abusing his powers to make a personal fortune and had pounds 910m of his assets seized.
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia on Wednesday rejected Thailand s request to extradite Thaksin Shinawatra, deepening a rift over Phnom Penh s appointment of the fugitive former Thai premier as an economic adviser.
In Thailand's current crisis, history is repeating itself, for the PPP under Somchai was the same Thai Rak Thai (Thais Love Thais) Party formed by the ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a figure much-hated by the country's Bangkok-based elite.
A Thai court issued a second arrest warrant yesterday for deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who fled to London to escape corruption cases.
A THAI court yesterday issued arrest warrants for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife after they failed to appear for a hearing on corruption charges.