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Thaksin predicts no Thai coup in event of return

From Yoko Wakatsuki, CNN
Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra speaks before the press in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra speaks before the press in Tokyo on Tuesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Thaksin says purpose of visit to Japan is for post-quake and tsunami reconstruction
  • He says committee that investigated him consisted of his political opponents
  • He faces jail in Thailand after being convicted of corruption; he lives in exile
  • Thaksin's youngest sister Yingluck was elected Thailand's first female PM this month

Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra predicted there would not be a coup in Thailand if he were to return from exile.

"I do not think I will go back, if I were to be a part of the problems," Thaksin said in Tokyo at a professional luncheon at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan. "Definitely I will go back, if I am not part of the problems. And I am willing to go back urgently, if it were to be that I will be a part of the solution."

Thaksin, whose youngest sister Yingluck was just elected Thailand's first female prime minister this month, is living in exile in Dubai. A polarizing figure in Southeast Asian politics, the twice-elected Thai prime minister was ousted in a military coup in 2006 and faces jail in Thailand after being convicted of corruption.

The Japanese government allowed Thaksin a visa for his visit after a strong request by Thailand; however, Japan's immigration control law bans the entry of foreign nationals with criminal charges.

Thaksin said the purpose of his weeklong visit is to help post-quake and tsunami reconstruction in northern Japan. He is scheduled to meet with Japanese political and business leaders on Wednesday and visit two tsunami-struck cities in Miyagi prefecture later in the week before leaving Japan on Sunday.

Thaksin called himself an "encyclopedia" for Yingluck, a neophyte in Thai politics, and said they were close. Critics have called her Thaksin's "puppet."

She has her own right and leadership to run the country without my interference at all
--Thaksin Shinawatra, former Thai prime minister
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"She has her own right and leadership to run the country without my interference at all," Thaksin said. "Whenever she needs advice, she calls me and I give her advice. That's all."

Regarding Thailand's needs, Thaksin named as four pillars, "democracy, freedom of speech, rule of law and quality economic growth.

He said that the committee that investigated him was appointed by the military junta and consisted of his political opponents. "This is totally against the rule of law from the beginning," he said.

Last month Yingluck said authorities would review the case against her brother and others.