Banned from politics, former Thai leader goes on tour
BUENG KAN ( Thailand)— As Thailand’s ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra made her way through a line of fans, some cried, others screamed and a few embraced her.
“She touched my hand! She touched my hand!” one woman yelled at a Buddhist temple in the rural northeast where several hundred people came to see her Monday.
This was not a political campaign stop. If it had been, the generals who ousted Yingluck two years ago never would have let it happen. She’s banned from politics, and the military government has banned the entire country from trying to sway voters, who will decide Aug. 7 whether to accept a new constitution drawn up by the junta.
Yingluck says she’s simply greeting and thanking her 5 million Facebook fans for their support, but she appears to be hoping that by touring the country, she can galvanize supporters without saying a political word. “She will show to her opponent and also to the public that, ‘ We are still here and there is a huge support for us,’” said Kan Yuenyong, executive director of the Siam Intelligence Unit think tank. “I think this is very important message, a hidden message, that she would like to send to the public.”— AP