EXILED former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has warned Thailand's military leaders against overthrowing the government run by his younger sister, saying they are addicted to power.
Thaksin said the international community would not accept a coup by the military, which overthrew his democratically elected government in 2006, although he could not rule out the possibility of a coup bid.
''Those who are addicted to yaba [methamphetamine and caffeine] will do anything to get the pills,'' he told the Bangkok Post from his base in Dubai. ''Similarly, those who are addicted to power will do anything to obtain power.''
Advertisement: Story continues below The ruling Puea Thai Party, headed by his sister Yingluck, has confirmed plans to amend the Defence Administration Act to allow it to have a say in military appointments, a move that will alienate powerful generals.
The coup-installed government that overthrew Thaksin passed controversial legislation aimed at preventing political interference in the armed forces. Ms Yingluck's party, which had a decisive victory in July's national elections, was unable to influence the appointments of top commanders in the annual military reshuffle that comes into force this month.
Puea Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said the party would amend the legislation after the government had dealt with floods that have engulfed two-thirds of the country, killing 300 people and causing several billion dollars' damage. The army has played a key role in preventing Bangkok being inundated.
In Dubai, Thaksin said that to prevent coups ''we must strengthen democracy … if democracy flourishes the military will have to stay in its camps''.
He said he had quit politics but raised the possibility of returning to Thailand after five years living in self-imposed exile to avoid two years' jail for corruption, which he said was a political set-up.
''I will go back to where I belong, although I don't know when or how,'' Thaksin said. ''It's my country. My family, my people and my home is there. I miss them a lot.''
Analysts say the return of Thaksin could create a flashpoint for renewed instability in Thailand, which has had years of political upheaval, including deadly streets riots.
Denying claims he is the real power behind his sister, making key decisions from abroad, Thaksin said: ''I will not interfere,'' but he added: ''Yingluck represents me.'' He declined to comment on bids by his supporters for a royal pardon or amnesty for him
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