Amnesty bid ‘could lead to early demise’

Amnesty bid ‘could lead to early demise’

Government warned against including lese-majeste among political offenses covered by the costs.

Amnesty bid ‘could lead to early demise’
Lawmakers are present at a legislature meeting in August 2023. ( Bangkok Post File photo )

A lieutenant government spokeswoman warned on Thursday that the decision Pheu Thai Party’s push to include stability- majeste among the crimes that may fall under a fresh social amnesty bill could lead to the government’s premature demise.

The Bhumjaithai Party’s Karom Polpornklang welcomed the effort to pass the asylum bill, which he claimed would help close persistent political unrest and promote social harmony.

” But, a blanket pardon for stability- guess offenders can revive conflict and lead to the downfall of the government”, he said.

Mr Karom’s opinion echoes new remarks made by Bhumjaithai leader and Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who said Section 112 of the Criminal Code, the der- majeste law, may be left undisturbed.

” Bhumjaithai has no problem with Section 112, and we will leave it alone”, Mr Anutin said.

After decades of being silent on the subject, Pheu Thai Party has now found a voice following Thaksin Shinawatra’s arrest under Part 112 for comments he made almost ten years ago.

A Pheu Thai part and spokesman for the House committee that is studying the expenses, Somkid Chueakong, said he was in favor of a proposal to record Area 112 violations on the list of crimes that could be pardoned.

He claimed that doing so should n’t be an uphill task because the action is supported by several committee members, without going into more specifics.

Before the attorney-general decided to prosecute Thaksin, Mr. Somkid insisted that the drive to contain Section 112 crimes had already been made.

The ex-premier on parole is accused of making remarks in an interview with a North Korean paper on February 21, 2015, and is facing charges of lese-majeste and computer crime. On June 18, he is scheduled to appear at the Office of the Attorney General to answer the question.

When he claimed privy council supported the 2014 defense revolution that overthrew the government led by his younger sister, Yingluck, Thaksin was alleged to possess defamed the king while speaking with the Chosun Ilbo paper.

In a related development, protesters led by Network of Students and People Reforming Thailand, Pichit Chaimongkol, wrote a letter to the House committee studying the asylum act on Thursday, pleading that any attempt to incorporate der major offenses would be ignored.

Additionally, Mr. Pichit added that those who have been found guilty of corruption and other serious crimes should not be a part of the bill.

He warned that the most recent attempt to pass a new political amnesty bill could cause unrest similar to those that broke out during the Yingluck administration, which started after her administration attempted to pass a blanket amnesty bill back in 2013.

The 2013 bill received a lot of negative feedback as it attempted to pardon a number of offences. It came to be seen as a legal whitewash for Thaksin, then in self- exile.

The move triggered massive protests led by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, which culminated in the 2014 military coup that ultimately let to the ouster of the Pheu Thai- led administration.

The House of Representatives sent the 2013 bill back to the Senate, where MPs from coalition parties refrained from revising it after it was later rejected.