No public debate allowed in ‘secret’ draft on amnesty

So Thailand now has a Government who refuses to debate its policies with the electorate. Democracy has taken a step backwards step since the PT Government came in to power. This ‘secret draft’ is allegedly  being created to bring back Yingluck’s Brother Thaksin to Thailand, without him facing any of the outstanding corruption charges.

The government will not release details of the draft decree for amnesty before it is endorsed by the palace, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung said yesterday, adding that it needed to be kept confidential to avoid public debate.

"Every pardon is granted at each government’s discretion and there is no law dictating that every pardon should be the same," he said in his rebuttal to an urgent motion filed by the Democrats.
Chalerm said the decree would be within legal boundaries and that the draft was not designed to favour a single individual, like former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
He added that the government was relying on a draft prepared by a Justice Ministry panel that was formed under the previous Democrat-led administration.
The draft is being kept confidential due to several factors, such as an incomplete drafting process and vetting by the Council of State, he said, adding that he could face impeachment proceedings if he disclosed details about a Cabinet debate held behind closed doors.
Chalerm added that a debate on the subject could cause confusion because the enforcement of pardon provisions might differ from the draft. He said there were several cases in which royal clemency was granted despite opposition from the Justice Ministry.
Democrat MP Satit Wongnongtaey said he wanted an explanation as to why the government had departed from the legal tradition of granting pardon to a broader group of individuals rather than just those sentenced by the judiciary. He voiced suspicion that the new classification was meant to apply to fugitives like Thaksin.
He also criticised Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and said she was being irresponsible by finding a pretext to stay away from the Cabinet debate.
Meanwhile, Tul Sitthisomwong, leader of the multi-coloured shirts, lodged a complaint with the Council of State against the draft decree. He said opponents of the decree would hold a rally at Lumpini Park today to air their opposition to pardoning Thaksin.
Rak Santi Party leader Purachai Piumsombun said the Cabinet debate on pardon should not be kept confidential because it would have an impact on a large number of people.
"Thaksin was a police cadet and should remain a gentleman," he said, adding that royal pardon should only be granted to those who show remorse and are not fugitives. He added that during his time as interior minister in Thaksin’s reign, he had advised against pardon sought by a daughter for her fugitive father.

— The Nation 2011-11-18

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, Thai cabinet approve Thaksin amnesty plan

Thai cabinet approve Thaksin amnesty plan

This will nicely pave the way for the return of the the ousted Thai Prime minister Thaksin and just in time for his daughters wedding on the 12th of December. Thaksin was ousted in a military coup during 2006 and have been on self imposed sabbatical in Dubai. If he were to return he would face a 2 year prison sentence on corruption charges involving land deals amongst other things. It appears that his sister Yingluck and the rest of Thaksins cronies have arranged things, so that he will be freed during the amnesty in December. These people have no shame, while Thaialnd is flooding they spend time on their main goal which is to bring back Thaksin, rather than helping the suffering Thais.

 

BANGKOK, November 16, 2011 (AFP) – Thailand’s cabinet has endorsed a controversial amnesty decree that could pave the way for the return of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, local media said Wednesday.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who is Thaksin’s younger sister, has yet to confirm or comment on a move that already attracted harsh criticism from the opposition.
The draft, which needs to be approved by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, would grant an amnesty to "convicts who are at least 60 years old and are sentenced to under three years in jail", according to the Bangkok Post English daily.
Amnesties are granted each year on the king’s birthday on December 5.
Thaksin, who was ousted by the army in a 2006 coup, is 62 years old and lives in self-imposed exile in Dubai to avoid a two-year prison term for corruption.
Political novice Yingluck, 44, led the Puea Thai party to victory in a July election on the back of her brother’s popularity among Thailand’s rural poor and is widely seen as his political proxy.
She was absent from Tuesday’s cabinet meeting because she was visiting a flood-stricken province, reports said.
The return of Thaksin, a deeply divisive figure in Thailand, would likely anger his foes in the Bangkok-based elites in the military, palace and bureaucracy and could spark further turmoil after years of violent protests.
It would also come at a politically sensitive time for Yingluck who has faced strong criticism in recent weeks for her handling of Thailand’s worst flood crisis in half a century.
The reported amnesty plan was immediately criticised by the opposition Democrats, whose own amnesty decree last year excluded corruption convictions.

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