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Former PM Yingluck, Away From Politics To Salad Gardening

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BANGKOK – Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra opened her house to the international media yesterday to take a peek into her life out of the country’s political limelight.

Banned from political activities for five years, Thailand’s first female premier said with politics out of her daily equation now, she had more time to indulge in her favoured pastime – salad gardening.

“Besides preparing for my court case, I also like gardening in my salad garden, just to serve my family (with vegetables grown in her garden) and offer friends who like vegetables,” she told the media.

With more time to spare, now that she is out of politics at least temporarily, the sister of another former prime minister, Thaksin, also makes it a point to spend more time visiting temples and meeting friends.

“I like to keep up to date (on friends),” said Yingluck, who was impeached by the National Legislative Assembly and subsequently, banned from political activities for five years.

She also faced criminal charges in the Supreme Court for her role in the country’s rice-buying scheme. If found guilty, she could face up to 10 years in jail.

On the roadmap as laid-out by the military-led Thai Government, she said it was important to have an election as it was a fundamental part of a democratic system, besides being good for the Thai economy and the confidence of its people.

The former prime minister also touched on the draft constitution recently- unveiled by the government’s appointed commission and said the draft must be acceptable to all and be people-centric.

Thaksin, according to her, also wanted the situation in Thailand to return to normal, with the election and transfer of power to the people to be held soon.

Before pulling the curtain on the media engagement, she explained that her invitation of the international media to her salad garden was done without any ulterior motive.

“I don’t have any hidden agenda in opening my house (to the media),” she said, adding that whatever her comments touching on political matters during the laid-back engagement with the media was merely coincidental and not intentional. – BERNAMA

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