Govt told to withdraw amnesty bill by 6pm Monday


BANGKOK, Nov 7 – Democrat MP and anti-Amnesty Bill rally leader Suthep Thaugsuban said last night that the government must do whatever way it will to shoot down the amnesty bill once and for all by 6pm Monday.

In a speech to the Democracy Monument rally, the former deputy prime minister urged Thai people to be on full alert for the opponents’ next move, and said protesters demanded immediate withdrawal of the amnesty bill and six other pieces of legislation related to the amnesty issue.

There is more than one alternative for “killing” the controversial bill, Mr Suthep said, advising the Senate vote to redefine the amnesty bill as a piece of financial legislation before returning it to the House of Representatives.

It is compulsory that a financial bill be endorsed by the prime minister, as stipulated by law, before it is given to the House of Representatives for deliberation.

The financial bill will be automatically dropped if Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra does not endorse it, said Mr Suthep.

Another alternative is the Senate passing the bill in three readings in a revised version not to grant amnesty to offenders in corruption and criminal cases, he said.

He said the government and the Senate have collaborated in misleading the Thai people to believe that they won in their fight (against the amnesty bill) and should stop their demonstrations.

Though the Upper House rejects the bill, it could be approved by the Lower House after 180 days, said the Democrat MP.

There is evidence that the government will reintroduce the amnesty bill in the future, he claimed.

“From tonight onward, let us protest against the amnesty bill in every forum. Be fully prepared for an announcement from the Democracy Monument at 6pm on November 11,” he declared.

The Democrat-led rally was kicked off at Samsen railway station on October 31 and relocated to the Democracy Monument on Ratchdamnoen Avenue on Monday.