Thaksin’s daughter gives birth two weeks before Thai election

BenarNews staff
Thaksin’s daughter gives birth two weeks before Thai election Paetongtarn Shinawatra, prime ministerial candidate for the Pheu Thai Party, with her newborn son and husband, May 1, 2023.
Ing Shinawatra/ Facebook

Thailand’s leading prime ministerial candidate Paetongtarn Shinawatra gave birth to a baby boy on Monday, just two weeks out from an election that pits her family’s political dynasty against the powerful military.

The 36-year-old chief strategic adviser for the Pheu Thai Party announced the arrival of her second child on Facebook with a photo of her in hospital with the newborn and husband. 

“Hi! My name is Preutasin Suksawat, nicknamed ‘Thasin,’” read a post on Facebook. “Thank you everyone for your support. In a few days when my mom is recovered, she will meet the press.”

Paetongtarn is the daughter and niece of two former prime ministers who were ousted in coups by the military, in 2006 and 2014, respectively. She is seen as the spearhead for Pheu Thai efforts to steer the country back on a path to full democracy. 

Her father, Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled by the military nearly 17 years ago, welcomed his seventh grandchild on Twitter.

“All my grandchildren were delivered when I’m abroad. I seek permission to come back home and raise my grandchild because I will turn 74 years old this July,” he wrote.

For almost a decade, the military has cast a shadow over the country – through five years of junta rule after the 2014 coup and then the election of a government with deep ties to Thailand’s generals.

Although many analysts see the military clinging to power this election, it is no longer a monolithic bloc. 

Prayuth Chan-o-cha, the prime minister and former junta chief, quit the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPP) to form a new party, the United Thai Nation Party, which is competing against PPP in the 2023 polls. Prayuth’s deputy and fellow retired Army general, Prawit Wongsuwan, is vying against him as a candidate for prime minister.  

Paetongtarn’s Pheu Thai has topped opinion polls in the lead up to the May 14 vote, showing it has a chance of winning more than half of the 500 seats in Parliament’s lower house. But it would need at least 376 seats to secure a majority, when both houses elect the new head of government from the list of the PM candidates.

A landslide win could offset the military-backed 250 senators who will join the lower house in voting for the new prime minister.

Big issues among voters are ending entrenched corruption and reviving the COVID-19-battered economy. Thais have also said they want to see improvements in the public health and education sectors.


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