Amnesty bill to top House agenda
The House of Representatives on Thursday evening voted 283-56 to move a political amnesty bill to the top of the agenda for consideration when the next parliamentary session begins on August 1.
- Published: 18/04/2013 at 09:21 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
The bill was previously slotted in as the second-last item on parliament's agenda and awaits its first reading vote.
The Pheu Thai Party submitted the proposal today during a joint sitting of the House and Senate. The change in the agenda was proposed by Pheu Thai Party MP for Samut Prakan Worachai Hema.
The House vote came after two hours of heated debate by government and opposition MPs.
Somkid Chaukong, a Pheu Thai MP for Ubon Ratchathani, denied allegations by the Democrats that the bill was in favour of those in the government camp, saying it would benefit political offenders of all colour-coded groups charged and incarcerated between Sept 19, 2006 and May 10, 2011, not only the red shirts. He said the government was not rushing the bill for scrutiny by the House as it had been three years since the May 2010 riots.
Jae-arming Tortayong, a Democrat MP for Narathiwat, said section 3 of the draft bill drawn up by red shirt lawyers provides an amnesty to people who were prosecuted for acts or statements that were construed as contributing to the political conflicts and deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra may benefit from the legislation.
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