The Bangkok Post withdraws article in which reporter claims to have interviewed Yingluck

BANGKOK - The Bangkok Post has pulled an article in which a reporter claimed to have interviewed former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra who was quoted as saying she was considering running in the next election.

The article, "Yingluck Saw the Coup Coming", written by Wassana Nanuam, was published in the English-language newspaper on Nov 24.

In the interview billed as the first with Ms Yingluck since the military staged a coup against her government on May 22, the former prime minister was quoted as saying that she was contemplating running in the next election, and that since her first day as Prime Minister, she had expected to be ousted either by the military or by one of Thailand's "independent agencies".

The remarks were considered unusually strong for the former PM, who is known for her modest speeches, according to Khaosod English news website.

But on Monday, the Bangkok Post reported that Ms Yingluck has denied reports that she would run in the next election, saying she was currently focusing on taking care of her son.

"I have put all of my energy into taking care of my son Nong Pike (Supasek Amornchat), growing mushrooms, reading books and writing. That's all," Bangkok Post quoted Ms Yingluck as saying. "I never said I will run in the election," she insisted.

Ms Yingluck reiterated that her political future was uncertain because it was beyond her control, according to Bangkok Post. She was referring to her possible impeachment over alleged malfeasance in the government's rice-pledging scheme, which is in the hands of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). She faces a five-year-political ban if the NLA votes to impeach her.

The former prime minister was charged by the National Anti-Corruption Commission with dereliction of duty in relation to alleged corruption in the rice-pledging scheme, which is said to have cost the state 600 billion baht (S$23.8 billion) in losses.

The NLA is scheduled to consider Ms Yingluck's impeachment on Friday, Bangkok Post reported.

Khaosod English reported that the first article by Ms Wassana was removed from the Bangkok Post website and the author later wrote on her Facebook that the piece was not based on an interview with Ms Yingluck. Rather, the article was drawn from parts of private conversations with the former leader, Khaosod English quoted her as saying.

"I just wanted to present lighthearted and colourful angles (of former PM Yingluck). I didn't want to focus on politics," Ms Wassana wrote. "Let me insist that this is not an interview. It's a recollection of lighthearted and colourful topics about the former Madam Prime Minister."

She claimed the editors at Bangkok Post "misunderstood" the intention of her article when they edited the piece.

"They may have looked at the heavy angles and raised them into points that are different to what the author intended to present, but I recognise it as the error on my own part."

"I'd like to take responsibility for any (errors) that were caused by the lack of clear communication from my article. I know that I will be criticised and scolded by many sides," Khaosod English quoted her as saying.

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