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26 February 2024

Thailand's fugitive ex-leader calls from exile

Fugitive ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. (AFP)

Fugitive ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has made a Valentine’s Day phone call broadcast to supporters back home from a mystery location.

Thaksin said he was calling on the ‘day of love’ to commend his supporters ‘love for democracy’.

The call-in was broadcast at a Saturday evening fundraiser for Thaksin supporters near Bangkok.

Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 coup and has lived mostly in self-exile. He was convicted in absentia in October of violating a conflict of interest law and sentenced to two years in prison.

A close political ally in Bangkok, Jakrapob Penakir, declined to comment on his whereabouts or recent reports that Thaksin was traveling in Nicaragua and elsewhere in South America.