Pheu Thai Party prepares alternative if Amnesty Bill is rejected

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BANGKOK, Oct 24 – Pheu Thai leader Charupong Ruangsuwan said the ruling party was determined to pass the Amnesty Bill into law and, if it failed, the alternative was to issue a royal decree to fulfill the party’s desire.

 

Mr Charupong, concurrently interior minister, said a “war room” would be set up to closely monitor social movements against the Amnesty Bill.

The bill, which has already passed the first reading in the House of Representatives, is being debated by the House scrutiny committee after which it will be re-submitted to the Lower House for the third or final reading.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra gave assurances that the highly-cricitised legislation would not affect the government’s stability and called on opponents to hold their demonstrations peacefully.

She said the House of Representatives, which is obliged to debate the bill, should find resolution for the country in light of different opinions towards the bill in Thai society.

Supachai Jaisamut, Bhumjaithai Party-list MP, said there were different opinions regarding the original Amnesty Bill, proposed by Pheu Thai MP Vorachai Hema, and the scrutinised version.

According to the House scrutiny committee, all cases being investigated by the Assets Examination Committee would be nullified, he said.

He said the revised version would benefit not only ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra but also Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and his deputy Suthep Thaugsuban.

He said Mr Vorachai’s original bill proposes pardon for political offenders, excluding commanders and core leaders, between September 19, 2006 and May 10, 2011, while the scrutinised version changes the pardoned period from September 19, 2006 to August 8, 2013.

The pardon also covers suspects identified with independent organisations, he said.

Mr Supachai did not elaborate his party’s stand on the controversy.