Thai junta under fire from allies over Yingluck escape – 28 Aug 2017

  • Yingluck, whose government was toppled by the military in 2014, pulled a dramatic disappearing act before a scheduled court judgment on 25 Aug 17 in a criminal negligence trial. She faced up to ten years in prison and a lifetime political ban if convicted. But instead she was a no show, with junta and party sources saying she had fled abroad. Analysts say Yingluck most likely cut a secret deal with the junta to exit the country — a charge the military has denied.
  • The leadership is desperate to avoid instability as it digs in for a long stay. The junta says it does not yet know how Yingluck managed to slip the net.
  • But key conservative figures, some of whom agitated for the coup that toppled Yingluck and are seen as political allies of the junta, rounded on the military in a series of statements over the weekend.
  • Veera Somkwankid, another prominent opponent of the Shinawatra political dynasty, took to Facebook to vent his frustration.
  • Yingluck frequently complained of being constantly followed by military intelligence since she was ousted from office.
  • Thai media has been filled with speculation over how she might have escaped, with most suggesting she went to Cambodia either by land or sea in the days before the court verdict and then on to Singapore.

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