Channel NewsAsia

I don't think about rejoining politics: Former Thai PM Yingluck

The banned politician says her recent media sessions have nothing to do with an attempt to stage a comeback. "I just want to say thank you because I didn't have time to do that during my term," she says.

BANGKOK: Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday (Feb 12) threw open the doors to her home and held her first news conference with international media since a 2014 military coup.

The former Thai Prime Minister and sister of ousted ex-Premier Thaksin Shinawatra, had similarly invited local reporters to her Bangkok residence just weeks before for a salad-making session. On Friday, she again showed off her vegetable garden to members of the media.


Speaking in a "live" interview on Channel NewsAsia's Primetime Asia after the event, Ms Yingluck said: "We missed the media as friends, that's why we held these informal events. That's all. It's not related to my participation in politics ... I just wanted to say thank you because I didn't have time to do this during my term."

She added that it was the "right time" to explain some of the things her administration did when they were in office.

"I DON'T THINK ABOUT REJOINING POLITICS"

While observers have said she might be plotting a comeback, Ms Yingluck insisted she had no hidden agenda. 

"Will I rejoin politics? I don't think about that," said Ms Yingluck, who was banned from politics for five years following criminal charges for negligence that could put her in jail. 


"Everyone knows I've been banned even though this applied with a constitution that does not exist anymore," she added. "I don't have an argument for that. I'm just doing my work and attending to my court cases - that's most important.

"But as a politician, you devote yourself to the country and to the people. You still worry about the country." She said any position she can "be with the Thai people", she appreciates. 

"NEW CONSTITUTION NEEDS TO BE BALANCED, FAIR"

Ms Yingluck also touched on the recently published draft constitution: "It will affect all the Thai people, hence it needs to relate to democracy, it needs to be people-centric.

"Secondly it needs to have balance, particularly in the pillars of administration, registration and justice. This is a whole thing that we need to balance."

Said Ms Yingluck, the new charter needs to be "fair and balanced" in order to grow the country's economy in the future.