Thousands rally to support fugitive former Thai premier

December 13th, 2008 - 5:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangkok, Dec 13 (DPA) Thousands of Thais sporting red shirts gathered Saturday at the Suphachalasai Stadium in in the capital to show their support for fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who planned to address the rally by teleconference.About 10,000 Thaksin followers gathered at the stadium Saturday afternoon and more were pouring in for the event, the highlight of which would be a phone-in from their leader, from “a country close by,” according to organizers.

Thaksin, who has been living in self exile since August and faces a two-year jail term in Thailand for abuse of power when he was premier in 2003, addressed a similar audience Nov 13 of an estimated 60,000 followers.

On that occasion Thaksin said his return to Thailand would depend on the leniency of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej “or the power of the people.”

The fugitive former leader has since made it clear that he wishes to return to Thai politics, which he has in fact never left.

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