Tuesday, June 18, 2024
spot_img

Thai oppn angry at royal pardon for Thaksin

Date:

Share post:

spot_img
spot_img

Bangkok: Thailand’s cabinet has reportedly endorsed a controversial royal pardon that could allow the return of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, prompting an angry response from the opposition.

Thai media reports had said a draft decree for an amnesty was approved at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday which Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra missed.

Yingluck, who is Thaksin’s younger sister and widely seen as his proxy, has yet to comment, but her deputy who chaired the meeting said it was “secret” as it discussed issues related to the king.

The rumours sparked a torrent of speculation on social media websites and in the Thai press, coming at a politically sensitive time, with Yingluck facing strong criticism for her handling of Thailand’s worst flooding in decades.

The decree, which would need to be approved by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, would apply to “convicts who are at least 60 years old and are sentenced to under three years in jail”, the Bangkok Post English daily said on Wednesday.

Political novice Yingluck, 44, led the Puea Thai party to election victory in July on the back of her brother’s popularity among Thailand’s rural poor.

She was absent from on 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 anger his foes in the Bangkok-based elites in the military, palace and bureaucracy and could spark further turmoil after years of violent protests.

The reported draft pardon was immediately criticised by the opposition Democrats, whose own decree last year excluded corruption convictions.

“It shows that what they have done is intended to help one person,” Democrat deputy party spokesman Sakoltee Phattiyakul told AFP, predicting the move would make for a “tense” political situation in the kingdom.

“Because even though the floods are not yet over, the cabinet still approved the decree.”

Democrat lawmaker Sirichok Sopha added that such a pardon “would be a very sad day for Thailand and the rule of law” and “split the country even more”.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung told reporters at parliament he had chaired on Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, where two topics were discussed.

“But because it was a secret meeting, with no final decisions and matters related to the king’s power, the government cannot speak,” he said.

“The government will not violate any law. I can’t give details,” he added, when asked about the decree. (PTI)

spot_img
spot_img

Related articles

Renewables, roads, realty sectors to see 38 pc growth to reach Rs 15 lakh crore in 2 years: Report

New Delhi, June 18: Riding on supportive policy interventions, investment in India’s key infrastructure sectors — renewable energy...

Foolproof security in place for PM Modi’s Kashmir visit

  Srinagar, June 18: The highest level of security preparedness and foolproof arrangements are in place for the forthcoming...

Bengal train mishap: Death toll rises to 11, child succumbs to injuries

  Kolkata, June 18: The death toll in the Kanchanjunga Express-goods train collision in West Bengal's Darjeeling district has...

Alka Yagnik reveals she has ‘rare hearing loss’ due to viral attack

Mumbai, June 18: Veteran Bollywood singer Alka Yagnik has revealed that she has been diagnosed with a "rare...