23 Jan Ex Thai PM Yingluck impeached

Written by AFP Published in Regional Read 2310 times
Members of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) cast their vote on the impeachment proceedings against former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Parliament House in Bangkok, Thailand, 23 January 2015. Photo: EPA/NARONG SANGNAK
Members of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) cast their vote on the impeachment proceedings against former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Parliament House in Bangkok, Thailand, 23 January 2015. Photo: EPA/NARONG SANGNAK

BANGKOK (AFP) - Embattled former Thai prime minister Ms Yingluck Shinawatra condemned a January 23 decision by the junta-stacked parliament to impeach her over her administration's controversial rice subsidy scheme as the end of democracy in the kingdom.

"Democracy has died in Thailand today, along with the rule of law. That move to destroy me is still ongoing and I face it now," she said in a statement posted on her official Facebook page following her impeachment.

Ms Yingluck, the kingdom's first female premier and the sister of former leader Mr Thaksin Shinawatra, was toppled from office by a controversial court ruling shortly before the army staged a coup in May.

She faces impeachment on January 23 by the junta-picked National Legislative Assembly over her administration's populist rice subsidy programme, which funnelled cash to her rural base but cost billions of dollars and inspired protests that felled her government.

The guilty verdict will bring an automatic five-year ban from politics and risks enraging her family's 'Red Shirt' supporters, who have laid low since the coup.

Speaking before the hearing January 22, Mr Jatuporn Prompan, chairman of the Red Shirts, cautioned against street protests on his television show, after noting signs he believed would "lead to impeachment".

"From tomorrow, we will see more clearly... If we are not patient, Red Shirts will be accused of being responsible for bad things," he said on Peace TV.

"It is not over on the 23rd, tomorrow is not the end. Time will tell... We have to be patient," Mr Jatuporn urged his viewers.

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