Democrat leader’s opposition against amnesty bill relentless


BANGKOK, Aug 10 – Opposition Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has declared his determination to oppose the amnesty bill under parliamentary procedure.

The government-sponsored amnesty bill sailed through the first reading in the House of Representatives on Thursday, pending a seven-day scrutiny in the second reading by a 35-member committee.

Mr Abhisit, a member of the scrutiny committee, said he would closely monitor the atmosphere in the scrutiny process, warning that any attempt to abruptly wrap up deliberations in the second reading would be unethical and unconstitutional.

The former prime minister said the Democrat Party would definitely not join the government’s forum on political reform as long as the government insists on pushing the amnesty bill into law.

The Democrat Party’s political movement has been made through Parliament but Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra refused to attend parliamentary sessions especially during the debate of the amnesty bill, lamented Mr Abhisit.

He added that former Democrat leader Bhichai Rattakul has the right to join the government-initiated forum on political reform in his capacity as a former MP.

He would participate in the forum as an ex-MP, and not as a  Democrat leader, Mr Abhisit said.

Meanwhile, ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra reportedly expressed satisfaction over the House’s approval of the amnesty bill in the first reading.

Thaksin’s legal adviser, Noppadol Pattama, quoted Mr Thaksin as saying that the passage of the bill would be the first step towards reconciliation in the country.

Mr Noppadol said the opposition party should no longer plan to block the amnesty bill in the third, or final, reading. (MCOT online news)