Former Thai PM Thaksin says he's coming home from exile

Thailand's former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra says he plans to come home after years of self-imposed exile. His comments come just days before the country's general election.

In a tweet, Thaksin says he will be back in July, without detailing how. He cites his advancing age, and says he has been separated from his family for 17 years.

He also says he wants to look after his grandchildren.
Thaksin's daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra, who belongs to the largest opposition party, has just given birth to a son.

In 2006, Thaksin was ousted in a military coup. He was charged with abuse of power, and fled abroad to avoid jail.

The 73-year-old still has plenty of political clout. And his daughter is the prime ministerial candidate of the Pheu Thai Party, which leads opinion polls with a support rate of almost 40 percent.

Thaksin's homecoming plans are widely seen as an attempt to influence voting at the 11th hour. But some observers fear his return could cause divisions.