I want to tell Thaksin "don't ever come back," : PM
Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said if he could would tell his ousted predecessor Thaksin Shinawatra not to ever return to Thailand.
"I would say please don't ever come back," said Surayud, when asked said when ask a group of senior editors as to what he would say to Thaksin if could meet him in person.
In the past when confronted with the same question, Surayud would say Thaksin should wait until after the election.
It was not clear if the statement meant a change in his position.
Surayud also dismissed widespread rumours that he had a secret gentleman agreement with Thaksin that he would be permitted to the country.
"The rumour is not true. I just want to tell him is, 'please, don't come back'," he said.
Surayud has been criticised for being too soft in dealing with Thaksin and previous government's alleged corruption.
He repeatedly suggested that Thaksin, who has been abroad since being toppled over in September last year, could return home after the national election scheduled by the end of this year.
He admitted that Thaksin is still a powerful figure but domestic supports for him were growing weaker.
The prime minister was speaking during a meeting with senior editors of several newspapers at his Baan Phitsanulok official residence.
He also dismissed rumour that he has had conflicts with Council of National Security that ousted Thaksin and that CNS wanted him to resign.
"No one or CNS asks me to resign," Surayud said.
He said when he was granted an audience with HM the King on his appointment as the prime minister, HM the King told him to be patient and worked for the country.