Thailand’s billionaire former leader Thaksin Shinawatra was hospitalised on his first night in prison after his historic return from self-exile, following concerns about his heart and blood pressure.
The influential founder of Thailand’s populist Pheu Thai Party was transferred to a police hospital overnight, 15 hours after a vaunted homecoming from 15 years abroad to avoid jail, that coincided with his political ally being elected prime minister in a parliamentary vote.
The Corrections Department said the 74-year-old Thaksin was transferred in the early hours of Wednesday after being unable to sleep and experiencing chest tightness and high blood pressure on his first night in prison.
Soponrat Singhajaru, a senior doctor, confirmed his condition had improved since he was admitted. A representative for Thaksin declined to comment.
Thaskin, a hugely popular prime minister among many voters for pro-poor policies, was ousted in a 2006 military coup and was in self-exile two years later when he was sentenced to jail for graft and abuse of power.
His hospitalisation is the latest twist in chaotic few months in Thai politics that saw the progressive Move Forward party triumph in a May election then end up in opposition, and the populist heavyweight Pheu Thai, twice toppled by the military, agree to form a government with army-backed parties.
Editor Oloyede Oworu