Nicaraguan escape hatch for Thaksin over passport
(2 hrs 20 mins ago)
Nicaragua said it had given a diplomatic passport to Thailand's fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, whose Thai passport was revoked on charges of inciting violence.
Thaksin, deposed in 2006 and living in exile to avoid a jail term for corruption, has made a series of speeches in recent weeks calling for ''revolution'' as his supporters took to the streets.
Thailand revoked his passport after his supporters forced the cancellation of an Asian summit at the weekend, and Nicaragua said Thaksin was to be accredited as an ambassador with a ''special mission'' to help bring investment to the country.
He was given the passport earlier this year, the government said.
Pro-Thaksin demonstrators say his allies were unlawfully pushed from power by a court ruling last year, and have been calling for Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to step down and hold fresh elections.
''Thaksin Shinawatra was democratically elected by the majority of Thai people, and was then forced to abandon his duty by a coup in 2006,'' said Rosario Murillo, Nicaragua's first lady and a government spokeswoman.
Thailand said it had no extradition treaty with Nicaragua and otherwise had little to say about the announcement.
Foreign ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat said Thailand had ''not yet'' made a formal protest to authorities in Managua.
''Nicaragua can give whatever they want to,'' Tharit said.