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 ?
3 Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra used to own which English Shinawatra used to own which English Premier League club?
Bangkok: A senior Thai general has rejected reports the army planned to rid the kingdom of the influence of controversial former premier Thaksin Shinawatra years before it seized power in May.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Set stressed that the move had nothing to do with relations between Thailand and the UK but declined to comment on whether the summoning of the ambassador to Bangkok was related to his close ties to fugitive ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister, former PM Yingluck Shinawatra or not, NSNBC reported.
Thailand had witnessed around witnessed around 18 acts and attempts at coup d'etat in the last 80 years with the last occurring in 2006 when former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted, an event that led to a long political struggle in the country.
They accuse the prime minister of being under the control of her brother, ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, who lives in self-imposed exile.
The army had ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a coup back in 2006.
The protestors accused the government of being controlled by the prime minister's brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who was overthrown by the army in September 2006.
The protesters are being spearheaded by former opposition Democrat Party lawmaker Suthep Thaugsuban, and they have resorted to a method of shutting down the government ministries in order to topple the present government which they claim is being run by the PM's brother Thaksin Shinawatra.
Protestors are also calling for an end to what critics see as the excessive influence of her brother, former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, who remains overseas to avoid a two year jail term for corruption.
Visiting former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Thursday urged Japan to invest in a project to develop a special economic zone in Myanmar and join hands with Thailand in strengthening Asian economies.
Thousands of people gathered Sunday at a horseracing track in Bangkok for an antigovernment rally, accusing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of acting as a puppet of her brother, the fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
A lawyer has been jailed for three years after being convicted of breach of trust and forgery in a case involving exiled Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra.