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Thaksin Shinawatra’s Grand Return to Thai Politics: A New Era with Srettha Thavisin and Paetongtarn Shinawatra

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In the bustling heart of Bangkok, amidst the vibrant pulse of its political scene, Thaksin Shinawatra, a figure synonymous with Thailand’s tumultuous politics, made a palpable comeback. He was greeted with warmth as he set foot at the Pheu Thai Party headquarters on a day that seemed to mark a new chapter in the country’s political saga. It was March 26, a date now etched in the memories of those who witnessed his return, captured in a poignant photo by Bloomberg.

The political landscape of Thailand, known for its dramatic twists and intricate plots, once again caught the world’s attention as Thaksin, the former prime minister, emerged from the shadows of exile. In a move that could be likened to a chess grandmaster’s cunning play, Thaksin lavished praise upon Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, declaring him the perfect protagonist for the country’s “transition” period. But the plot thickens as Thaksin, with the dexterity of a seasoned storyteller, introduces another character into the narrative – his daughter, the head of the ruling Pheu Thai Party, Paetongtarn Shinawatra.

During an eagerly awaited appearance via a pre-recorded message at the Pheu Thai’s annual congregation, Thaksin’s words painted a vision of the future. “In this era where the political arena is crowded with contenders, Srettha stands out,” Thaksin proclaimed, his voice resonating with conviction. “His wealth of experience will guide him through, making him an exemplary leader amidst the tumult.”

Thaksin’s saga took a dramatic turn in August when he decided to face the music – an eight-year symphony of legal battles that diminished to a one-year serenade, thanks to a royal pardon. Yet, this maestro of Thai politics orchestrated his way out of spending a single night in the confines of a cell, trading bars for the comfort of a hospital, from which he was released on parole after six months.

His return stirred the pot of political speculation, with whispers of clandestine agreements with the conservative establishment and military factions, both of which had previously sent Thaksin-linked parties packing in 2006 and 2014 coups. Despite the rumors, Thaksin and his circle remained tight-lipped, dismissing the murmurings of under-the-table deals.

While Thaksin positions himself as a retired political maestro, it’s hard for the audience – the people of Thailand – to ignore the potential symphony he might conduct from behind the scenes. This prompts a crescendo of curiosity regarding Srettha’s autonomy in his governmental role. Srettha, undeterred, has hit a high note by affirming his leadership.

In a surprising duet, both Thaksin’s protégé, Paetongtarn, and Srettha, shared the spotlight as nominees for premier in the last electoral showdown. Thaksin, ever the proud father, heralds Paetongtarn as the maestra capable of leading Pheu Thai to a resounding victory in the 2027 electoral concerto.

Referring to his daughter affectionately by her nickname, Thaksin beams with pride, “Ung Ing can take the lead and orchestrate a change. She inherits her resilience and spirit from her mother and her political acumen from me. With such a lineage, she’s bound to outperform me,” he asserts with a blend of pride and conviction.

Yet, as the final notes of Thaksin’s influence play softly in the background of Thailand’s political theatre, one can’t help but wonder about the next act in this ever-evolving drama. With characters both old and new taking the stage, Thailand’s political narrative continues to captivate and intrigue, leaving the audience eagerly awaiting the unfolding of its next chapters.


  1. BangkokNative April 5, 2024

    Thaksin returning is just what Thailand needs to rejuvenate its political landscape. His experience and vision could really take the country forward, especially with Srettha and Paetongtarn in key roles.

    • PrayutFan101 April 5, 2024

      Are you kidding? Thaksin’s era was marked by corruption and self-serving policies. We really want to go back to that?

      • BangkokNative April 5, 2024

        Thaksin’s time had its issues, sure, but it also had significant progress for the average Thai citizen. Plus, it’s not just about Thaksin; it’s about the new leadership he’s endorsing.

  2. ThaiDemocracyAdvocate April 5, 2024

    Thaksin’s words on Srettha and Paetongtarn sound promising, but I can’t shake off the feeling that this could lead to a clash within the Pheu Thai Party. Leadership battles can tear apart a party.

    • SiamWatcher April 5, 2024

      Interesting point, but internal competition can also be a catalyst for growth and innovation within the party. It’s all about how they manage it.

  3. Joe April 5, 2024

    Everyone’s focusing on Thaksin, but the real story here is Srettha. His background in business could bring a refreshing approach to Thai politics.

    • EconoThai April 5, 2024

      A business approach doesn’t always translate well into politics. There’s a difference between running a company and running a country.

      • Joe April 5, 2024

        I see your point, but dynamic leadership and fresh ideas could be exactly what’s needed to tackle Thailand’s economic and political challenges right now.

      • PolicyWonk April 5, 2024

        Agree with Joe here. Look at other countries with leaders from business backgrounds. They’ve introduced innovative policies and efficiencies not seen with traditional politicians.

  4. HistoryBuff83 April 5, 2024

    Bringing back figures from the past like Thaksin won’t help Thailand advance. We need to look forward, not backward.

    • PatriotPong April 5, 2024

      Exactly, Thaksin’s era had its time. We need new ideas and people who can address contemporary issues without the baggage of the past.

      • BangkokNative April 5, 2024

        But don’t you think Paetongtarn represents that new blood and fresh perspective? Even Thaksin seems to champion new leadership over his own comeback.

  5. grower134 April 5, 2024

    I don’t trust these political dynasties. Thaksin talking up his daughter feels a bit too nepotistic for my taste. What happened to meritocracy?

  6. GreenRice April 5, 2024

    Thaksin’s strategic moves are fascinating. His blend of direct and behind-the-scenes power could redefine Thai politics. It’s like watching a seasoned conductor at work.

    • SkepticalInBangkok April 5, 2024

      Conductor or puppet master? I’m wary of any single figure wielding that much influence behind the scenes. It doesn’t bode well for democracy.

      • GreenRice April 5, 2024

        Fair point, but it’s also about the music that’s being played. If the end result is positive change and growth for Thailand, perhaps the means can be justified?

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