Thailand’s former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday was ordered to face a trial over the disorderliness in rice pledging scheme started by her government. If she found guilty then she may be prisoned up to a decade.
This is the latest legal action by the Thai Government against Yingluck- the first women president of Thailand. Yingluck Shinawatra is also sister of ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra who was declared fugitive and if she found guilty then she could spell the end of her family’s political dominance.
Shinawatra’s had a very good political background as they and the parties associated to them had won all the elections since 2001.
Bangkok’s panel of judges has decided that this case falls within their authority, said one of the judge from panel named Veeraphol Tangsuwan at Bangkok’s Supreme Court. He said that the first hearing on the case would be on 19th May.
Thailand’s attorney general filed a criminal case against Yingluck in February 2014 accusing her of “dereliction of duty” in relation to starting a scheme by a name Rice Pledging Scheme which was very populous but disastrous economically. Under the Scheme the farmers in the rural areas were paid double for the crops.
She is not accused of corruption herself but was alleged for her involvement in the Corruption. The Scheme caused loss of millions of dollars and also felled her government and led to May’s military coup.
The court’s decision comes less than two months after the retroactive impeachment of the former premier, also over the rice scheme, by an assembly appointed by the ruling generals — a move that carries an automatic five-year ban from politics.
Yingluck didn’t come to court on Thursday but has now been legally thankful for attending the first hearing in the court on May 19.
On her facebook page which was published after the orders, she said that the scheme was not at all loss but it was able to lift the living standards of the farmers.
“As a prime Minister I was always honest and had never done wrong against the Thai people who had voted for me”.
The army takeover last year was the latest twist in Thailand’s turbulent political landscape, at the heart of which sits Thaksin, who was toppled by a previous coup in 2006 and now lives in self-exile to avoid jail on a corruption charge.
His influence could be seen in the Thai politics with the Yingluck and his associated parties drawing interest from rural and urban working class voters for their popular scheme.
But the policeman-turned-billionaire telecoms tycoon is loathed by much of the country’s royalist elite, which is backed by parts of the military and judiciary.
A Political expert Puangthong Pawakapan at Chulalongkorn University said charges against Yingluck were an example of past cases in the court against her brother ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
It is quite clear that Elite section of the society wants Shinawatra’s to be out of the Thai politics, said the expert.
The decision to implead Yingluck would raise the temperature in the Thai Politics, said another Thai Expert at Kyoto University.
It will inspire the people to come out of their houses and fight against the injustice and politicization of the court, he said .
The junta said that once the case will sought out they will announce the elections in early 2016 and also will work on limiting the powers of politicians.
But the draft charter has shown their deep worries in the kingdom and critics doubt whether it will bridge Thailand’s political divisions.