- Title: THAILAND-POLITICS/YINGLUCK-VOTE Majority vote to impeach former Thai PM Yingluck
- Date: 23rd January 2015
- Summary: BANGKOK, THAILAND (JANUARY 23, 2015) (REUTERS) INTERIOR OF PARLIAMENT BUILDING WHERE NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY (NLA) WILL CAST THEIR VOTE PRESIDENT OF NLA, PORNPETCH WICHITCHOLCHAI, TALKING VARIOUS OF NLA SESSION OFFICIALS WRITING ON WHITEBOARD MORE OF NLA SESSION LEGISLATIVE MEMBERS LINING UP TO GET BALLOT PAPERS VARIOUS OF LEGISLATIVE MEMBERS CASTING THEIR VOTES PORNPETCH CASTING VOTE MORE OF NLA SESSION OFFICIALS PREPARING TO COUNT VOTES FROM YINGLUCK'S IMPEACHMENT BALLOT BOX VARIOUS OF OFFICIALS AND LEGISLATIVE MEMBERS PREPARING TO COUNT IMPEACHMENT VOTES VARIOUS OF OFFICIALS AND LEGISLATIVE MEMBERS COUNTING VOTES VARIOUS OF WHITE BOARD SHOWING 190 VOTES FOR IMPEACHMENT OF YINGLUCK (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) VICE PRESIDENT OF THAILAND NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY SAYING; "The National Legislative Assembly reached the conclusion that Yingluck Shinawatra should be impeached from her position. The result of the vote appears in this document." MORE OF NLA SESSION
- Embargoed: 7th February 2015 12:00
- Location: Thailand
- Country: Thailand
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVADE43IBZQJFTV1OK4ENG87ZJ2Z
- Story Text: Thai authorities dealt a double blow to ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her powerful family on Friday (January 23), banning her from politics for five years and proceeding with criminal charges for negligence that could put her in jail.
The moves could stoke tension in the politically divided country still living under martial law after the military seized power in May, toppling the remnants of Yingluck's government after months of street protests.
The charge against the country's first female premier, who was removed from office for abuse of power days before the May coup, concern her role in a scheme that paid farmers above market prices for rice and cost Thailand billions of dollars.
The retroactive impeachment at the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) carries with it a five-year ban from politics.
"The National Legislative Assembly reached the conclusion that Yingluck Shinawatra should be impeached from her position. The result of the vote appears in this document," the Vice President of the NLA said, lifting up a document to the assembly.
The decision to ban Yingluck required three-fifths of the vote from NLA members, who were hand-picked by the junta of coup leader and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.
Around 100 of the 220 members are former or serving military officers.
Prayuth, however, insisted he did not order the NLA to vote against Yingluck, who remains popular among the rural poor that handed her a landslide electoral victory in 2011 and benefited from the rice scheme.
The ban and the legal case are the latest chapter in 10 years of turbulent politics that have pitted Yingluck and her brother Thaksin, himself a former prime minister, against the royalist-military establishment which sees the Shinawatras as a threat and reviles their populist policies.
Yingluck will face criminal charges in the Supreme Court and, if found guilty, faces up to 10 years in jail, the Attorney General's Office said on Friday.
The vote against Yingluck was expected by her supporters. Around 150 members of their political movement have been banned from politics in the last decade, including four who had served as prime ministers.
Shinawatra supporters say the courts and NLA are biased and aligned with an establishment intent on blocking her powerful family from politics.
Yingluck disputed the charges in an appearance at the NLA on Thursday (January 22), and said the scheme boosted the economy. She did not appear at the NLA on Friday.
A political ban on Yingluck would have little immediate impact on party politics, as the ruling junta has forbidden all parties from engaging in political activity since the coup.
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