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Thaksin Shinawatra’s Surprise Visit to Pheu Thai HQ Sparks Political Buzz

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Thaksin Shinawatra is swamped by supporters as he enters the Pheu Thai headquarters in March. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The vibrant energy at Pheu Thai headquarters took an unexpected turn last Tuesday when former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra made a surprise visit. As he entered, bathed in enthusiastic cheers and admiration, the day’s session with the party’s young MPs took on a new dimension of excitement.

Pheu Thai leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra, who was conducting the session, quickly addressed the buzz around Thaksin’s arrival. She jested that her father had lightened the mood with a playful remark about becoming her assistant, adding a dash of humor to the proceedings. “He was just joking,” Ms. Paetongtarn reassured the reporters with a smile.

The room filled with laughter when Thaksin casually mentioned his willingness to be her assistant, a suggestion that naturally drew attention from political analysts and enthusiasts alike. Paetongtarn laughed it off, emphasizing, “He has too many other ambitions and projects to focus on.” Yet, she left no room for doubt regarding her reliance on his wisdom—rooted deeply in their family connections. “Thaksin will always share his experience with anyone eager to learn, not just with Pheu Thai MPs,” she clarified.

Reflecting on the young MPs’ recent performance during the budget bill debate, Thaksin commended their efforts, underscoring the importance of continuous self-improvement. “You all did a fantastic job,” he encouraged them, hinting humorously at his availability to assist in the future, should the need ever arise.

However, the light-hearted remark did not go unnoticed by the Election Commission, which promptly reminded the party of potential legal repercussions. According to Section 28 of the Organic Act on Political Parties, external control or undue influence over a political party by a non-member is strictly prohibited—something that could lead to the party’s dissolution. This legislation ensures that party activities remain both autonomous and independent.

Former Democrat MP Thepthai Senpong took to Facebook, interpreting Thaksin’s engagement as an effort to bolster the young Pheu Thai members against their competitors in the Move Forward Party. He reminisced about Thaksin’s earlier visits, including one to Nakhon Ratchasima province, where he reportedly invited Suwat Liptapanlop, Chart Pattana Party’s chairman, to throw his weight behind Pheu Thai—a move that many saw as indicating Thaksin’s influential presence within the party.

Thepthai further pointed out that Thaksin might indeed be seen as the de facto leader of Pheu Thai. However, Thaksin himself diplomatically stated that his actions and words were in support of his daughter, aiming to avoid any breaches of the organic act. While intriguing speculations continue to swirl, the atmosphere within Pheu Thai remains one of camaraderie and animated anticipation for what lies ahead.

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