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Breaking news – Government drops the Amnesty Bill

On November 7th the Thai lower house of the House of Representatives by a vote of 310 – 1 to withdraw the governments highly controversial amnesty bill.

The vote was called after Charoen Chankomol, the Deputy Speaker said he had invited five MP’s who submitted the six bills for talks and they had all agreed to withdraw their draft legislation.

The bills were largely viewed as a way to allow Thaksin Shinawatra, who was convicted on charges of corruption, to be allowed back into the country without facing any jail time.

The bill has sparked widespread protests around the country and thousands have arrived in Bangkok every day to join a massive proposed march designed to disrupt the capital and force the government lead by Thaksin’s sister to back off.

THAILAND-POLITICS-CORRUPTION-THAKSINOf the six items of legislation, five are “reconciliation bills” proposed by Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, Niyom Worapanya, Samart Kaewmeechai, Peerapan Palusuk and Nattawut Saikuar. The other is an “amnesty bill” proposed by Niyom Worapanya. Mr Niyom proposed two bills – one named as a reconciliation bill and the other an amnesty bill.

All five MPs rose to confirm they wanted to withdraw their legislation and asked for House approval.
The House voted 310-1 to approve the request.Mr Charoen adjourned the House meeting immediately after the vote.

Gen Sonthi, who proposed one of the reconciliation bills, told the House that he agreed to withdraw his draft in response to the calls by people in various sectors. “Before, I did something that many people branded as undemocratic,” the former coup leader said. “Today I am in parliament, I want everything to be done through parliamentary channels. “I therefore ask for your permission to withdraw the bill.”

Gen Sonthi led the Sept 19, 2006, military coup that ended the Thaksin Shinawatra administration.

Source – Phuket News

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