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Thaksin eyes Thai youth vote in pre-election rebranding

Ex-PM harnesses social media, but hesitance to tackle monarchy debate could cost votes

Thaksin Shinawatra earlier this year began using a virtual room in the voice chat app Clubhouse in an attempt to attract young voters.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- From his perch in self-imposed exile, former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is reaching out to the country's young voters through social media, setting the stage to test his political brand as talk swirls in the halls of power of an early general election for Thailand in 2022.

Last Friday, he targeted voters in the northeast of the country through another round of informal chatter using a virtual room on Clubhouse, the audio-based social media application. The 72-year-old billionaire engaged with young participants from the rural region, where he has enjoyed deep electoral support, about options to boost their business ideas and incomes.

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