In comments certain to infuriate Thailand’s military government, fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has likened the situation in his country to that in Myanmar under junta rule.
A draft constitution released last month by a panel appointed by Thailand’s junta was a “charade” to show the country was returning to normal, the Asian Wall Street Journal quoted Mr Thaksin as saying. “But in reality, it would be like Myanmar before its political reforms,” he said in the interview in Singapore on February 21.
“There would be a prime minister, but the real power would be in some politburo above him and the economy would suffer. No other government would want to touch Thailand.”
Mr Thaksin, who was also interviewed by the Financial Times, said the draft constitution was “a waste of time and a waste of manpower”.
“If this constitution is implemented, Thailand will be taking a step backwards,” he said.
Mr Thaksin was ousted from power in a military coup in 2006 and has lived in self-imposed exile since 2008, when he was sentenced in absentia to two years in prison for corruption.