Military allow ousted Thai PM Yingluck to travel abroad

Yingluck Shinawatra talks to media during a press conference in Bangkok, Thailand on 7 May 2014 Image copyright AP
Image caption Ms Yingluck's government was hit by months of street protests in Bangkok

Thailand's military leaders have given ousted PM Yingluck Shinawatra permission to travel abroad for the first time since the coup.

A military spokesman said the request had been approved because Ms Yingluck had "kept a low profile" since her government was overthrown on 22 May.

Reports suggest she will travel to France for the birthday of her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra.

The military seized power after months of anti-government protests in Bangkok.

Mr Thaksin, who turns 65 on 26 July, was ousted in a coup in 2006.

He was removed by the military, kicking off a cycle of political instability in Thailand. Convicted of corruption by a Thai court, he has been living in self-imposed exile overseas.

Good co-operation

Ms Yingluck had asked to travel to Europe from 20 July to 10 August, the military said.

They agreed because she had not "violated any orders of the NCPO [military junta] or any agreements, being the ban from politics or the ban on overseas travels" and had "given good co-operation all along", spokesman Col Winthai Suvaree told a press conference.

At least 28 people died in the anti-government protests that brought Ms Yingluck's government down.

The protesters alleged that the government - which came to power with strong support from rural voters after elections in 2011 - was controlled by her brother and that Shinawatra family money had corrupted Thai democracy.

Ms Yingluck herself was ousted ahead of the coup by a Constitutional Court ruling that said she had illegally transferred her national security head.

She is currently facing charges linked to a controversial government rice subsidy scheme.

The military, meanwhile, say no elections will be held before October 2015.

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