Former PM Somchai turns 67

A large number of people turned up at the residence of former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat on Chaeng Wattana road on Sunday to wish him a happy 67th birthday.

They included former deputy prime minister Pongthep Thepkanchana, Somsak Prisanananthakul of the Chartthaipattana Party, and former Pheu Thai Party MPs.

Mr Somchai said as his 67th birthday wish he wanted Thailand to be peaceful and the people to be happy.

Asked if he had any advice for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Mr Somchai said he had nothing to say but would give him moral support to fulfil his tasks as he believes Gen Prayuth is sufficiently capable of performing his duty.

Asked whether he had talked personally to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Mr Somchai said Thaksin gave him a birthday wish when they last met in Singapore, adding they did not discuss politics at the time.

To the question of whether he would compete in the next election, the former prime minister said he would rather let younger people stand. But he would reconsider it if the people still wanted him to remain in politics.

Mr Somchai, an executive member of the People's Power Party (PPP), became Thailand's 26th prime minister on Sept 18, 2008. He lost the post after the Constitutional Court on Dec 2, 2008 dissolved the PPP after finding it guilty of electoral fraud and barring its executive committee members from politics for five years.

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