Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra left for Europe yesterday amid mounting criticism that her frequent trips abroad are a waste of money.
Thailand’s first female premier, the younger sister of fugituve former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, will travel to Switzerland, Italy and Montenegro over the next week.
She will attend the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Switzerland, and visit Vatican City before traveling to Montenegro.
Montenegro was one of several countries that granted a passport to Thaksin, who has been living abroad since 2008 to avoid a two-year prison sentence for abuse of power.
In 2009, the previous government revoked his Thai passport, but his sister has since restored it.
Before her departure, Yingluck insisted that her foreign travel was aimed at boosting trade and investment.
Opposition spokesman Chavanon Intharakomalsut said Saturday that Yingluck has visited 45 countries at the cost of 370mn baht ($11.6mn) since becoming prime minister two years ago, The Nation reported.
He argued that there was no evidence that Thailand’s trade picture had improved due to her travels.
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