Yingluck opens up Bangkok home to foreign journalists

Ms Yingluck Shinawatra holding up a head of lettuce plucked from her garden while receiving foreign media at her home yesterday.
Ms Yingluck Shinawatra holding up a head of lettuce plucked from her garden while receiving foreign media at her home yesterday.PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK • Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra opened her home to foreign media yesterday in what analysts said was a bid to boost her family's profile ahead of a possible election.

It was her first press conference for foreign journalists since her government was overthrown by the military in 2014 and it took place in defiance of the junta's ban on political activity.

Ms Yingluck strolled through the vegetable garden at her mansion in northern Bangkok, pausing to pick some lettuce for the cameras in what she said was a "simple get-together" with no agenda. The former premier said she spends her days tending to her vegetables, visiting temples and meeting friends.

She also said that she regularly speaks to her exiled brother, Thaksin, another former prime minister who fled abroad in 2008 to avoid a jail sentence for corruption. "We were taught to be close through good times and bad," she said.

Analyst Kan Yuenyong of the Siam Intelligence Unit think-tank, said the family was laying the groundwork for a 2017 election campaign. "What is simpler than a Yingluck in her garden presenting herself as a housewife and one of the people?" he said.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2016, with the headline 'Yingluck opens up Bangkok home to foreign journalists'. Print Edition | Subscribe