Ex-PM Yingluck to speak for herself in opening impeachment statement

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BANGKOK, Jan 6 — Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra will deliver her opening defense statement in her impeachment proceedings before the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) by herself when the case opens Friday and it should conclude within this month, according to Assembly Vice President Surachai Liangboonlertchai.

Mr Surachai said that the NLA would let Ms Yingluck and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) deliver their statements and answer questions without a time limit. He also said that with her presence, Ms Yingluck could answer assemblymen’s questions right away.

Mr Surachai said that the NLA would form two committees to pose questions on two impeachment cases.

One case concerns Ms Yingluck and the other concerns former Senate speaker Nikom Wairatpanij and former House speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont and the questions will come from NLA members.

Each inquiry committee will consist of up to 21 members who will represent the NLA and its committees, including the whip committee. Mr Surachai insisted that the inquiry committees would be neutral.

He said that the impeachment process against holders of political positions would take 23 days; therefore, conclusions on both cases were expected by the end of this month, except in the possibility that any party in the impeachment cases seeks a postponement.

Mr Surachai said that under the current circumstances, a postponement was unnecessary.