Yingluck faces 5-year ban if impeached
DEPOSED premier Yingluck Shinawatra is facing a possible five-year ban from politics after anti-graft officials ruled yesterday that she should face impeachment proceedings - a move sure to further enrage her supporters.
However, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) said it would not extend its probe into a costly rice subsidy scheme to the rest of the caretaker Cabinet.
Such a move could see the Cabinet ousted and send the kingdom spinning into a deeper political crisis.
"The commission considers there is enough evidence to indict (Yingluck) and refer (the case) to the Senate," NACC chief Panthep Klanarongran told reporters.
If found guilty by the Upper House, she could be banned from politics for five years.
The NACC said it is still considering whether she should face criminal charges, which could mean a jail term for her.
Anti-government protesters said they would appoint a new government today - a move that could set off further political mayhem.
"We will take steps to appoint a new government," protest spokesman Akanat Promphan said, stressing that the current government had lost "all legitimacy".
The protesters are known for making hyperbolic statements, and it was not immediately clear whether they had a legal basis for their position.
However, Mr Akanat said the Thai Constitution contained an article that might enable the appointment of a new executive body by the Senate.
Allowing an anti-government group to appoint a new premier is "a red line not to be crossed", said Thailand-based author and academic David Streckfuss.
"The Red Shirts would rise en masse," he said, referring to Shinawatra supporters who are due to hold a rally tomorrow in a Bangkok suburb.
The NACC's decision comes a day after the Constitutional Court removed Ms Yingluck from office for abuse of power in the 2011 transfer of a security official.