Fugitive former Thai Premier Thaksin Shinawatra resigns as economic adviser of Cambodia; Thaksin’s resignation expected to lead towards normalization of the bilateral relationship between Thailand and Cambodia
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • Thaksin Shinawatra, the fugitive former Prime Minister of Thailand, has reportedly resigned from his post as economic adviser to the Cambodian government, while citing “personal difficulties in fulfilling his role completely.” Since his expulsion as Premier in 2006 coup, Thaksin has been abroad to avoid a jail term at home on charges of corruption. His appointment as the economic adviser to Cambodia in November 2009 deteriorated the bilateral relationship between Thailand and Cambodia further at a time when their relationships were already going through a tenuous phase due to border conflict.1

    Thaksin’s resignation has been considered as a breakthrough in normalizing Thai-Cambodia relations with both states deciding to reinstate their ambassadors. It is worth noting that in early November 2009, following Thaksin’s appointment as the economic adviser of Cambodia, Thailand recalled its ambassador from Phnom Penh, leading to deterioration of bilateral relations. Cambodian Premier Hun Sen had also refused to extradite Thaksin despite having bilateral extradition treaty. Hun Sen’s decision was largely considered by Thailand as interference in internal affairs of Thailand. It was also treated as a denial of Thai judicial process, as the Thai Supreme Court had already sentenced Thaksin to two-year jail term due to his abuse of power in the R Ratchadapisek land case.2

    However, ties between the Thailand and Cambodia have witnessed an improvement after Thaksin’s resignation. The Cambodian ambassador to Thailand, You Aye, arrived in Bangkok on Wednesday a day after the Thai envoy left for Phnom Penh. Reports noted that Hun Sen has also ordered the release of three Thais who were detained for allegedly entering Cambodia illegally.3