Thai King Strips Former Premier Thaksin of Royal Medals of Honor

(Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn revoked royal decorations given to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The decorations have been taken away because Thaksin fled Thailand after being sentenced to prison, which is "an extremely inappropriate behavior," according to a statement posted on the Royal Gazette’s website.

Thaksin hasn’t set foot in the country since 2008 after being accused of corruption, a case he has called politically motivated. He or his allies won the most seats in every election held since 2001, only to be unseated from government by coups or the courts.

Provisional results show the Thaksin-linked Pheu Thai party emerged with the most seats after the general election on March 24, which followed almost five years of military rule.

Pheu Thai says it has built an alliance of anti-junta parties that would have a majority in the lower house of parliament. That claim is disputed by a pro-military party which says it will seek to form a coalition government after winning the popular vote.

The shape of the next government may not emerge for many weeks, following a messy election dogged by claims of rigging and incompetent administration.

On the eve of last Sunday’s vote, Vajiralongkorn released a statement that in effect asked citizens to back good people to govern the nation.

Read More: Thai King Asks Citizens to Back Good People to Govern Nation

Another Thaksin-linked party, Thai Raksa Chart, was disbanded in March for hostility toward the constitutional monarchy, after Vajiralongkorn rejected the party’s nomination of his sister Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya as its prime ministerial candidate.

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