Thailand‘s ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife have divorced after 32 years of marriage, his spokesman said Saturday.
Thai newspapers reported that Thaksin, who was in power from 2001 until he was toppled in a 2006 coup, finalised the separation from his wife Pojaman at the Thai consulate in Hong Kong on Friday.
The couple have been living in exile since August to avoid jail sentences in their homeland and last week had their British visas cancelled, leaving them searching for a new refuge.
By Anusak Konglang, AFP
In this July 31, 2008 file photo, ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand and his wife Pojaman, left, arrive at criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand. Thaksin and Pojaman, who married in 1976, divorced at the Thai Consul General Office in Hong Kong on Friday, the English-language Nation and Bangkok Post newspapers reported.(AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong, File)
“I have had it confirmed by a credible person in his team that Thaksin and Pojaman have divorced. But I have no details,” Thaksin’s personal spokesman Phongthep Thepkanjana told AFP.
There was no immediate comment from the Thai consulate or from Hong Kong authorities.
Telecoms billionaire Thaksin announced the divorce at a dinner of MPs from Thailand’s ruling People Power Party in Hong Kong on Friday night, the Bangkok Post reported.
The cause of the divorce was not immediately clear, but Thai sources and media reports said it was more likely to be for legal or financial reasons than personal ones.
A source close to Thaksin’s family in Thailand confirmed the report but said that it would be a “divorce on paper” for practical or economic reasons.
“Thaksin and his wife remain very close and they are even closer since their problems began in Thailand,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.