May 20, 2014 / 5:33 AM / 3 years ago

Former Thai PM Thaksin says martial law 'expected'

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Former Thai Prime Minster Thaksin Shinawatra said on Tuesday the army's declaration of martial law earlier in the day had been expected and he hoped that no one would undermine democracy.

"The declaration of martial law was expected for those who have followed the political situation," Thaksin said in a message posted on his official Twitter account (@ThaksinLive).

"I hope that no side will violate human rights and damage the democratic process more than it has already been," said Thaksin, who has lived in self-exile since 2008.

A government loyal to Thaksin has been clinging to power in the face of months of protests aimed at throwing it out and ending the influence of the former telecoms tycoon, who won huge support in the countryside with pro-poor policies when he was prime minister from 2001 until he was ousted in a 2006 coup.

Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by Alex Richardson

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