Published: 23 May 2013 at 12.47
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung’s reconciliation bill seeking a blanket amnesty for people involved in past political unrest has been filed with the House of Representatives.
The bill, signed by 163 Pheu Thai MPs, was submitted through Deputy House Speaker Charoen Chankomol by Yasothon MP Pirapan Palusuk, chief of the party’s legal team, and a number of party MPs.
Mr Pirapan said the bill, initiated by Mr Chalerm, would grant amnesty to all people involved in political offences from 2006 to the present time, in line with the government’s policy of national reconciliation and restoring unity.
The bill originally had six sections. However, Section 5 concerning compensation for those affected by the political unrest had been taken out because it concerned financial matters which would require Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s endorsement.
Mr Pirapan said the gist of the bill is outlined in Section 3, which proposes to clear all political offenders from 2006 to the present time of wrongdoing. Political offenders, be they those already convicted by the courts, those being investigated, or those pending prosecution, and those charged for expressing political opinions, would be exonerated.
“As for Section 4, which many people claim is designed to return the 46 million baht seized from former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the court (Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions) has already issued an order to confiscate it. The only way to return the money is by passing a budget-related bill,” Mr Pirapan said.
Mr Charoen said Mr Chalerm’s draft legislation would certainly not be proposed for deliberation during the extraordinary session of parliament on May 29-31 to deliberate the 2014 Budget Bill.
It was for a House meeting to decide whether it would be moved up for consideration along with other reconciliation bills that had been filed earlier, he said.