Thai prime minister candidate Paetongtarn Shinawatra gave birth to a baby boy two weeks before Thai voters are due to vote. Paetongtarn is the youngest daughter of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, according to the Guardian.
Paetongtarn posted pictures of her baby, whom she named Prutthasin Sooksawas, on social media on Monday. Also known as Ung Ing, Paetongrarn told the media that she would speak to them once she felt strong enough.
She was busy campaigning and spoke to Pheu Thai party supporters via video call. Recent voter polls show Paetongtarn ranked first and second. His popularity is also enhanced due to the Shinawatra surname. The Shinawatras have retained a loyal base of support among rural voters in northern and northeast Thailand, according to the Guardian.
The party has emerged victorious with most seats in every contested election since 2001, but the family faces fierce opposition from Thailand’s military establishment, which has repeatedly ousted them from power.
Paetongtarn’s father, Thaksin, was ousted in a 2006 coup and his aunt, former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, was removed from power in 2014. Both are currently living in exile to avoid prosecution brought against them, according to the Guardian.
THE Guardian, citing Thai media, said Thaksin, the former prime minister, was convicted in absentia on corruption charges and would face a 10-year prison term if he chooses to return. The former prime minister told Nikkei Asia in an interview that he wanted to come back even if it meant going to jail as he wanted to stay close to his family.
Thaksin was convicted in absentia for corruption-related cases and would face a 10-year prison term if he returns, Thai media say, according to the Guardian.
“I am very happy to have my seventh grandchild… All 7 grandchildren were born while I was abroad. I am asking permission to return and raise my grandchildren as I will be 74 in July,” Thaksin said in a social media post.
However, the report says there are fears Thaksin’s return could lead to instability.
Paetongtarn says she is focused on the polls and not her father’s return and said she would not make any deals with any party to secure his return, according to the Guardian.
Although she is expected to win a large number of votes, it is unclear whether she will win the support of Thailand’s 250 unelected military-appointed senators who have a role to play in electing the prime minister.
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