Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister of Thailand, is one of the world’s most polarizing figures, whose words still reverberate across Southeast Asia. His tenure at the helm of the Thai government in the early 2000s marked a growing rift between Thailand’s urban middle class and the rural and working class who adore him. After more than two years of public silence and a decade after his ouster, the former prime minister spoke with World Policy Journal in New York City.

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