The convicted former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said on Tuesday he is ready to return to Thailand to be the prime minister again as long as it is "the people's wish", Thai media reported.
The self-exiled ex-premier, talking through a video link, also called for the incumbent Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to dissolve the House to return power to the people, Bangkok Post online reported.
Thaksin made the remarks to the seminar "Three years after the Sept. 19 coup", organized by the 111 Thai Rak Thai Foundation, which was set up by the 111 former executives of the dissolved political party Thai Rak Thai, whose leader was Thaksin.
"Many people ask whether I want to return to be prime minister. If it is the people's wish, I would be ready to do so," said Thaksin, adding he was grateful to the red-shirts who had done considerably for him.
The pro-Thaksin red-shirts movement held a mass rally on September 19 to mark the third anniversary of the military coup that toppled Thaksin's administration. More than 20,000 red-clad supporters of the anti-government United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship came up to the Royal Plaza in Bangkok, calling for Abhisit to dissolve the House and to call a new election.
Thaksin, who was sentenced in absentia in 2008 by Thai court to two-year in jail before he managed to flee abroad, said the coup created a few new rich who hold the rank of general. After the coup, Thaksin said, the people got a dictatorial 2007 constitution and a weak politics; the country has been indebted and more divided; the military became stronger but the police weaker; the judicial system has apparently applied double standards.
Yongyuth Wichaidit, the leader of opposition Puea Thai party, said the 2006 coup has caused the severest damage to the country. The people are living in the hope to see Thaksin's return, he added.
Earlier this month, Thaksin at his Twitter page expressed his patience on waiting to talk to the Abhisit, before the latter, in his probably first twitter interview, saying Thaksin must return to Thailand to serve his jail term to make a talk possible.