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Exiled Thailand PM threatened with arrest if he returns after party gains

[JURIST] Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] will be arrested if he returns home from self-imposed exile in England, despite his party's success in general election earlier this week, according to Thai officials Thursday. Thaksin and his wife Pojamarn, who have been living in exile since a bloodless military coup ousted him last September, have been accused of abuse of power for personal gain [JURIST reports], conflict of interest violations, and dereliction of duty. A Thai court issued one arrest warrant for Thaksin and his wife in August and a second one in September [JURIST reports]. Both have long refused to return to Thailand to face charges because they do not expect to receive a fair trial [JURIST report].

In general elections held Tuesday, the pro-Thaksin People's Power Party (PPP) won nearly half [NPR report] of the seats in the Thai parliament's lower house, spurring the PPP to announce the organization of a new coalition government in 2008 [Xinhua report]. Following the announcement, Thaksin said he would return to Thailand next year [CNN report] to face the corruption charges after the new government was created. AP has more.

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