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Former Thailand PM Thaksin Shinawatra Freed on Parole After 6 Months in Hospital

Thaksin Shinawatra, the former Prime Minister of Thailand, has long been an important figure in Thai politics. After spending over 15 years in self-imposed exile, he made a return to Thailand last year.

Thaksin Shinawatra Freed on Parole After 6 Months in Hospital

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Thaksin Shinawatra’s entrepreneurial spirit led him from beginnings to the heights of Thailand’s business elite. After earning a master’s degree in criminal justice from Eastern Kentucky University, Thaksin’s career saw rise through the ranks of Thailand’s police force.

However, it was his ventures in telecommunications that solidified his status as one of the country’s richest men.

Through his conglomerate, Shin Corporation, Thaksin amassed a fortune built on government concessions and savvy business deals.

Thaksin Shinawatra came into politics in the early 2000s when he founded the Thai Rak Thai party, a populist movement that resonated with Thailand’s rural and working-class citizens.

His policies, including universal healthcare and micro-loan programs, endeared him to millions and cemented his position as a champion of the common people.

His tenure as prime minister was not without controversy. Accusations of corruption and abuse of power dogged his administration, culminating in his ousting by a military coup in 2006.

Thaksin’s influence on the country’s politics remained undiminished. From his bases in Dubai and London, he continued to mobilize supporters and shape the course of Thai politics.

His sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, followed in his footsteps, serving as prime minister from 2011 until her own ousting in a coup in 2014.

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Thaksin Shinawatra’s return to Thailand in August was a watershed moment in the country’s politics. He was arrested and sentenced to eight years in prison on corruption charges.

However, just days later, his sentence was commuted to one year by the king, making speculation of backroom deals and political maneuvering.

His release on parole after serving only six months fueled accusations of preferential treatment and double standards within Thailand’s judicial system.

Thaksin Shinawatra served as Prime Minister from 2001 to 2006, implementing bold policies such as universal healthcare and rural development initiatives.

His tenure was marred by allegations of corruption and human rights abuses, particularly in his government’s handling of the insurgency in southern Thailand.

His approach to drug trafficking, which resulted in thousands of extrajudicial killings, remains an issue to this day.

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Following a military coup in 2006, Thaksin Shinawatra fled into exile to avoid prosecution, primarily residing in Dubai and London.

He remained as a force in Thai politics, with his political parties consistently winning elections until recent years.

Thaksin’s influence made electoral victories, as he continued to shape policy agendas and mobilize supporters, particularly among rural populations.

Thaksin’s return to Thailand in August last year was met with anticipation. While some hailed his comeback as a sign of defiance, others viewed it as a threat to political stability.

His immediate arrest and sentencing reignited debates about the rule of law and selective justice in Thailand.

Thaksin’s release on parole after serving only six months of his one-year sentence drew criticism from various quarters.

Many Thais saw it as yet another example of the country’s elite enjoying preferential treatment in the legal system.

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