Demonstrators stage a rally at Sri Lanka’s Presidential Palace after Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled abroad on July 9, 2022. PHOTO/Reuters
Not all leaders have a smooth road after not being in power. Many of them had to exile themselves abroad.
Generally, those who flee abroad are leaders who have problems at home. It could be, they face legal cases or even conflict with groups in power.
Not a few former leaders chose to return to their country when the conditions have been declared eligible to protect the interests of themselves and their families. However, the former leaders who chose to remain abroad until the situation is conducive.
Here are three government or state leaders who have exiled themselves abroad due to legal scandals.
1. Thaksin Shinawatra
Former Thai prime minister (PM) Thaksin Shinawatra has revealed he wants to return from exile before his birthday which falls on July 26. The 73-year-old former policeman turned telecommunications tycoon was twice prime minister but was ousted in a 2006 military coup. He fled abroad to avoid being charged with corruption.
The opposition Pheu Thai party led by Thaksin’s daughter, Paetongtarn, has always been ahead in opinion polls. If the party comes to power, there are indications that Thaksin will return to Thailand soon. “I’ve been living away from my family for 17 years. I’m old,” Thaksin said on his Twitter account, reported by Channel News Asia.
Thaksin is still idolized by millions of poor Thais because of his populist policies. However, he became the main enemy of the military and imperial supporters.