Nov 07, 2013

    Thai Senate 'likely' to reject amnesty Bill


    THE Thai Senate will likely reject an amnesty Bill that critics say is aimed at bringing back convicted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra from exile, the Senate Speaker said yesterday, a move that could defuse rising tension on the streets of Bangkok.

    The Bill is aimed at absolving crimes committed by all leaders involved in political unrest since 2004 and is backed by the ruling Puea Thai party of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin's sister.

    Speaker Nikom Wairatpanij said the Bill would most probably be rejected, but was berated by some senators at the conference for speaking on their behalf.

    "The nation's interests come first. I believe the majority of the Senate will reject this Bill," Mr Nikom said.

    Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Bangkok since Friday in protest against the Bill, threatening to disrupt months of calm in the country.

    The Bill will be debated in the Senate on Monday when it will need support from at least 76 of the 150 senators to pass.

    Analysts say the announcement by the Senate Speaker did not guarantee that the Bill would be rejected next week.