Puea Thai amnesty plan

Chalerm says after a Phue Thai win, the cabinet will approve a far-reaching amnesty decree not requiring parliamentary debate.

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Pheu Thai forges amnesty plan

Nattaya Chetchotiros and Manop Thip-Osod

Chalerm Yubamrung

The Pheu Thai Party has confirmed its plan to issue an amnesty decree for all politicians and political groups facing charges or who have been convicted of political-related charges if it wins the July 3 election.

Chalerm Yubamrung, former chief Pheu Thai MP and a prospective party-list candidate, told the Bangkok Post Pheu Thai would soon reveal details of the draft executive decree. He said it would grant an amnesty to not only Thaksin Shinawatra, the deposed prime minister, but also the yellow shirt People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and the red shirts.

The amnesty issue resurfaced soon after Pheu Thai officially named Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin's younger sister, as its candidate for prime minister.

Ms Yingluck obliquely answered media questions about an amnesty for Thaksin on Monday, saying only that it was "too early to talk about that".

But, Mr Chalerm said that if the Pheu Thai Party won the election and formed a government, it would immediately approve the executive decree.

The party is trying to decide whether it will call the edict "the amnesty decree" or "the decree granting amnesty to people who committed offences after the Sept 19, 2006 coup d'etat".

He said issuing an executive decree was easier, more effective, and more practical than trying to get legislation passed in parliament, which would certainly require lengthy debate.

If an executive decree is approved by the Cabinet, parliament would only be required to acknowledge the decree. The process would take less than a week, Mr Chalerm said.

The outspoken veteran said he had already told more than 300,000 people in the Northeast about the decree plan, which they welcomed because they wanted Thaksin to return home.

The Pheu Thai Party will keep the public informed of its work on the amnesty decree. That way the people can decide if they want the country to move towards reconciliation by granting amnesty to everybody or just a few individuals or groups, he said.

Although the PAD had earlier voiced its opposition to an amnesty law it would likely agree with the Pheu Thai's amnesty decree now that its leaders are facing terrorism charges for blocking two Bangkok airports in 2008, Mr. Chalerm said.

He added that the amnesty decree, would not compel the state to return the 46 billion baht in assets it has seized from Mr Thaksin and his family.

"We believe that to win the coming election, we must do it this way. And if we can form the next government, everything will be very easy. Only the winner will write history," Mr Chalerm said.

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forge – to work hard to achieve something สร้างอย่างมานะพยายาม
amnesty – a situation in which a government agrees not to punish people who have committed a crime การนิรโทษกรรม
issue – to officially announce or give out  ออก, ออกประกาศ, ออกคำสั่ง
decree – an official decision or order made by a leader or government พระราชกฤษฎีกา
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ข้อหา
convict – to prove in a court of law that someone is guilty of a crime พิสูจน์ว่าผิดกฎหมาย
prospective – expected to do something or to become something ที่คาดหวังไว้, ที่มุ่งหวัง
party-list (proportional representation system) – a system that gives each party in an election a number of seats in relation to the number of votes its candidates receive ระบบสัดส่วน, ระบบปาร์ตี้ลิสต์
candidate – a person who is trying to be elected ผู้สมัครรับเลือกตั้ง
reveal – to let something become known เปิดเผย
details – small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation รายละเอียด
draft – not in a final form and likely to be changed  ร่าง
grant – to officially give something  ให้
deposed – ousted; forced out of a position of power ที่ถูกขับออกจากตำแหน่ง
People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) – the union of several groups protesting against the past government and which staged large protests against the Thaksin government as well พันธมิตรประชาชนเพื่อประชาธิปไตย  
issue – a subject that people discuss or argue about ประเด็น
resurface – to reappear; to become important again ปรากฎออกมาใหม่
obliquely – not expressed or done in a direct way อย่างอ้อมๆ, อย่างไม่ตรง
media – newspapers, television, radio, etc. สื่อ
immediately – happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
approve – to give official permission อนุมัต
edict – an official order or statement given by somebody in authority  กฤษฎีกา, คำสั่ง
offence – a crime or illegal activity for which there is a punishment  การกระทำผิดกฎหมายหรือข้อบังคับ
coup (d’etat) – the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces รัฐประหาร
effective – producing the result that was intended ได้ผลดี
practical - suitable for the situation in which something is used ที่ขึ้นอยู่กับความเป็นจริง
legislation – a law or set of laws suggested by a government and made official by a parliament กฎหมาย, การออกกฎหมาย
debate – a discussion in which people or groups state different opinions about a subject การอภิปราย, การโต้วาที, การถกเถียง
acknowledge – to let someone know you have received something or the you understand what it is  รับทราบ
process – a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
outspoken – giving your opinion strongly and honestly, even if other people do not like it พูดโผงผาง,พูดตรงไปตรงมา,พูดจาเปิดเผย
veteran – a person who has a lot of experience in a particular area or activity (สส.)หน้าเก่า, (สส.)หลายสมัย, ผู้อาวุโส, ทหารผ่านศึก
welcome – to be pleased to receive or accept something รับด้วยความยินดี
the public – people in general ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน
reconciliation – a new and friendly relationship with someone who you argued with or fought with การทำให้ปรองดองกันอีก,  การสมานฉันท์
voice – to express your feelings or opinions ออกความคิด
opposition – strong disagreement with a plan or policy ความขัดแย้ง
terrorism – the use of violence to achieve political aims การก่อการร้าย, การใช้ความรุนแรงเพื่อข้อเรียกร้องทางการเมือง
block – to stop someone or something from moving through or along something else  ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง
compel – to force someone to do something บังคับ
state – government รัฐบาล
assets – things owned by a person, company etc., particularly money and property ทรัพย์สิน
seized assets – money or property which have been officially taken away from someone, often by a court order ทรัพย์สินที่ถูกยึดหรืออายัด

About the author

Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager