Civil society groups seek to impeach 310 ruling party MPs who voted for Amnesty Bill


BANGKOK, Nov 18 – A group of Thai civil society organisations today submitted a petition with 23,000 signatures to the speaker of the Senate seeking to impeach 310 members of parliament who voted for the controversial Amnesty Bill.

Senate Speaker Nikom Wairatpanij received the petition lodged by representatives of civil society groups, university students and the Business Club for Democracy.

The controversial legislation was passed in the third and final reading by 310 MPs of the ruling Pheu Thai Party and its coalition partners in the early morning of November 1, sparking furious and widespread reactions among some Thai people across the country, as it would have granted a blanket amnesty to offenders in criminal and corruption cases.

The complaint reasoned that the vote was considered as a violation of Constitution Article 122 stating that the MPs must not act under the influence of any particular person.

Mr Nikom said the 23,000-name petition will be verified before being forwarded to the Office of National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for further action.

Meanwhile, Democracy Monument protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban led seven other former Democrat MPs to Parliament to present themselves as among the group who signed the petition to remove the 310 MPs.

The group will close their signature collection tomorrow evening with confidence that they can meet the 20,000 signature requirement and submit the petition with the signatures on Wednesday.

As Mr Suthep announced a mass rally next Sunday (November 24) against the government, Interior minister Charupong Ruangsuwan said the ruling party is now monitoring the protest leaders’ speeches in their rally stage at Democracy Monument.

Mr Suthep called on protesters last night to join the demonstration, targeting 1 million people, to topple what he called the Thaksin Regime.

Mr Charupong said the most concerning issue for him is the speeches by the anti-government protest leaders which slander the government and the Pheu Thai Party.

The minister said the ruling party will file legal actions against those who violate the law.