Confusion as PM forced out (updated)

Confusion as PM forced out (updated)

The threat of a political vacuum has lessened a bit today after the NACC indicted former PM Yingluck Shinawatra for her role in the government rice-pledging scheme, but spared her replacement and said it was not seeking the ouster of the cabinet.

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Former PM Yingluck Shinawatra greets supporters after losing her position as caretaker PM. Her replacement, Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan, right, may also have problems with the NACC over the rice pledging scheme. CHANAT KATANYU

Evening update

nACC members Vicha Mahakhun, left, Panthep Klanarongran, centre, and Prasart Pongsivapai speak during a press conference on Thursday to decide to impeach former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra over the rice subsidy scheme. TAWATCHAI KHEMGUMNERD

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) added to former PM Yingluck Shinawatra's problems, but it stopped with her, sparing her replacement, acting prime minster Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan. NACC spokesman Vicha Mahakhun also said media reports that the NACC would order the ouster of the entire cabinet were completely false. Here is the story of the NACC's decision from our online reporters:

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) resolved on Thursday to bring impeachment proceedings against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra over the rice-pledging scheme, with criminal charges to be the next decision.

The NACC ruled by a vote of 7-0 to send the case to the Senate, recommending the impeachment of Ms Yingluck. The commission found there were grounds for charges of dereliction of duty in her role as chair of the National Rice Policy Committee, NACC spokesman Vicha Mahakhun said on Thursday.

She had failed to halt the scheme after it was found to be incurring heavy losses due to possible corruption ''in all stages'', he said.

The NACC will forward the case to the Senate for impeachment proceedings. The case is expected to go to the upper house next week, he added.

Morning story

It's not quite a complete political vacuum yet, but it is getting close as even the "acting" prime minister who replaced Ms Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday in under threat from National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). Here is the Bangkok Post's morning summary of the situation following her removal by the Constitutional Court. In addition, the Phue Thai party is asking people to protest the court ruling and the red-shirts say they will rally to oppose the appointment of a neutral prime minister.

PM goes, impasse stays

Yingluck, Niwatthamrong still face NACC rice pledging hurdle 

PDRC pushes ‘final all-out battle’ forward to tomorrow

Patsara Jikkham,
Mongkol Bangprapa
Aekarach Sattaburuth

The charter court ruling which ousted Yingluck Shinawatra as caretaker prime minister may have averted violent confrontations between pro- and anti-government groups, but it has not broken the political deadlock as opponents of the government push forward with other legal challenges.

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana yesterday said a meeting of caretaker cabinet ministers not affected by the ruling agreed to appoint caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan as acting caretaker premier, replacing Ms Yingluck.

The decision came after the charter court yesterday ruled to remove caretaker Ms Yingluck from office for violating the constitution in her transfer of Thawil Pliensri as secretary-general of the National Security Council in 2011.

The court also ruled that ministers who took part in the cabinet meeting on Sept 6, 2011 that passed the resolution to transfer Mr Thawil to the post of adviser to the prime minister also be removed from office.

Nine of them are in the current caretaker cabinet and they have been disqualified as a result of the ruling.

Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said the ruling could ease political tensions since the court decided to hand down a judgment before the mass rallies of the rival camps take place.

But the court ruling disappointed the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).

The PDRC had hoped the judges would throw out the entire Yingluck cabinet to pave the way for its proposed interim government and so-called “people’s council”.

In response, PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban brought the date of his “final all-out battle” against the government and the so-called Thaksin regime from next Wednesday to tomorrow.

PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban has moved up the start of his “final all-out battle” against the government to tomorrow. THANARAK KHOONTON

He called on supporters last night to meet at Lumpini Park tomorrow at 9.09am. Once there is enough support, they would expand the rally to Ratchadamri and Henri Dunant roads, he said.

“This is the only chance we Thais have to rise up and celebrate our free spirit as the real owners of this country,” Mr Suthep said. He expressed confidence that by next Tuesday, the last remnants of the government would be gone. The PDRC rally is to take place before the mass protest by the pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship on Utthayan Road on Saturday.

Despite the charter court’s ruling against Ms Yingluck yesterday, she is not out of the woods yet.

A source on the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) said the agency will decide today whether Ms Yingluck should be indicted for dereliction of duty in the rice-pledging scheme.

Mr Niwatthamrong could also face suspension by the NACC because he was directly involved in the rice programme.

Mr Phongthep said the cabinet meeting had agreed to proceed with plans for a new general election.

The government would seek a meeting with the Election Commission (EC) to discuss the matter tomorrow.

Senator Paiboon Nititawan, who led a group of senators petitioning the charter court for a ruling on Ms Yingluck’s status, said even if Mr Niwatthamrong has been appointed as acting caretaker premier, the post of prime minister is still vacant.

Therefore, he said such an appointment cannot stop the process to install a neutral interim prime minister to fill the vacant post, a process which should take no more than seven days.

Senator Kamnoon Sitthisamarn said he believed Mr Niwatthamrong will face complaints about him using his authority to forward a royal decree for a new election.

This is because Mr Niwatthamrong did not dissolve the House of Representatives on Dec 9 last year and he was not the person who issued the royal decree for the Feb 2 election.

But EC chairman Supachai Somcharoen said Ms Yingluck’s removal from office will not affect the new poll.

Mr Supachai said the EC will proceed with the plan to hold the new poll on July 20, adding that whoever becomes the acting caretaker prime minister is duty-bound to submit a royal decree for the new poll for royal endorsement.

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Vocabulary

  • acting: doing the work of the usual person in a particular job while they are not there, or until a new person starts - ที่รักษาการแทน
  • adviser (noun): a person who gives advice, especially somebody who knows a lot about a particular subject - ที่ปรึกษา
  • appointment: when someone is officially chosen for a job - การแต่งตั้ง
  • authority: power - อำนาจ
  • avert: to prevent something bad or harmful from happening - ป้องกันไม่ให้เกิด
  • battle: a fight; serious disagreement, strong competition, etc. - การต่อสู้
  • cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี
  • camp: a group of people who have the same ideas about something and oppose people with other ideas -
  • caretaker: in charge for a short time, until a new leader or government is chosen - รักษาการ
  • challenge: questioning whether something is true, accurate, or legal - การคัดค้าน
  • charge : an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime - ข้อกล่าวหา
  • charter court: the court that decides whether or not laws follow the constitution - ศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ
  • commerce minister: the minister in charge of the Commerce Ministry - รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงพาณิชย์
  • complaint: when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory - การร้องเรียน
  • confidence: the quality of being certain - ความมั่นใจ
  • confrontation: a situation in which people or groups are arguing angrily or are fighting - การเผชิญหน้า
  • Constitutional Court (noun): the court that decides whether or not laws follow the constitution - ศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ
  • criminal: illegal; against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
  • current: of the present time - ปัจจุบัน
  • deadlock: a situation in which neither person or group involved in a disagreement is willing to change their opinions or positions - หมดหนทาง ไม่มีทางแก้
  • decree: an official decision or order made by a leader or government - พระราชกฤษฎีกา
  • dereliction of duty: a serious failure to do the things that you are responsible for in your job - การละทิ้งหน้าที่
  • disappoint: to fail to satisfy someone or their hopes, desires, etc.; to cause someone to feel unhappy - ทำให้ผิดหวัง
  • disqualify: to not allow someone to do something  because they have committed an offence - ทำให้หมดสภาพ
  • dissolve the House: to end a parliament, normally to call a new election - ยุบสภา
  • duty-bound: required by your job or assignment - ขอบข่ายหน้าที่หรืองานที่ได้รับมอบหมาย
  • ease: to make a problem, situation or pain less severe or serious - บรรเทา
  • Election Commission (EC) (noun): the independent government agency that oversees elections - คณะกรรมการเลือกตั้ง
  • endorsement: official approval - การรับรอง การลงนามในเอกสาร
  • expand: to make or become larger - ขยาย
  • grounds: reasons for saying or doing something - เหตุผล
  • halt: to stop - หยุด
  • hurdle: a problem that you must solve before you can do something successfully - อุปสรรค
  • impasse: a situation in which progress is not possible because none of the people involved are willing to change their decision - ทางตัน
  • impeachment: the process of formally accusing a public official of a serious crime relating to their job - การกล่าวโทษเจ้าหน้าที่รัฐว่าทำผิดศีลธรรมหรือจรรยาบรรณ
  • incur: to lose money, owe money, or have to pay money as a result of doing something - ประสบ, ได้รับ
  • indicted (verb): officially accused someone of a serious crime - ถูกฟ้องร้อง
  • interim: temporary and intended to be used or accepted until something permanent exists - ชั่วคราว
  • interim government: a government that is intended to last only a short time until a permanent government is chosen - รัฐบาลรักษาการณ์
  • involved (verb): taking part or having a role in something - เกี่ยวข้อง, มีบทบาท
  • issue: to officially announce or give out - ออก, ออกประกาศ, ออกคำสั่ง
  • judgment: an opinion that you have after thinking (carefully) about something - การตัดสินใจ, การพิจารณา
  • legal: relating to the law - เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย
  • mass rally: a very large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุมใหญ่
  • media: radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group - สื่อ
  • National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC): An independent government organisation to investigate corruption carried out by government officials - ปปช. (สำนักคณะกรรมการป้องกันและปราบปรามการทุจริตแห่งชาติ)
  • National Security Council: a government body which deals with security matters that require cabinet action or present a serious threat to the country's sovereignty - สำนักงานสภาความมั่นคงแห่งชาติ
  • neutral: a person, group or country that does not support either side in a disagreement, competition or war - ผู้เป็นกลาง, ผู้ไม่ฝักใฝ่ฝ่ายใดฝ่ายหนึ่ง
  • opponent: someone who disagrees with you or who is competing against you - ผู้ไม่เห็นด้วยกับ, ฝ่ายตรงข้าม
  • oppose: to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy - คัดค้าน
  • oust: to force to leave a position of power - ขับออกจากอำนาจ
  • ouster: forcing someone out of a position of power - ขับออกจากอำนาจ
  • out of the woods (idiom): out of trouble; no longer facing a serious problem - ผ่านจุดวิกฤติไปแล้ว
  • pave the way for (verb): to create a situation in which something can happen - ปูทาง
  • PDRC (noun): People's Democratic Reform Committee, an anti-government protest group, headed by Suthep Thuagsuban - กปปส. คณะกรรมการประชาชนเพื่อการเปลี่ยนแปลงประเทศไทยให้เป็นประชาธิปไตยที่สมบูรณ์ อันมีพระมหากษัตริย์ทรงเป็นประมุข.
  • petition: an official document in which you ask a court to take legal action - คำร้องต่อศาล
  • policy (noun): a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group - นโยบาย
  • political vacuum (noun): a situation where there is no government or no clear leadership in a country, organisation, etc. - สูญญากาศทางการเมือง
  • poll (noun): an election - การเลือกตั้ง
  • post: a job/position in a company or organisation - ตำแหน่งการงาน
  • press conference: an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it - การแถลงข่าว
  • proceed: to continue as planned - ดำเนินการ
  • process: a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result - แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
  • proposed: suggested as an idea for a group to consider - ถูกเสนอ
  • protest: to make a strong complaint or disagreement - ประท้วง
  • rally: to join a public meeting that a lot of people go to in order to support someone or protest against someone or something - ชุมนุม
  • recommend (verb): to advise someone that they should do something - แนะนำ
  • remnants: the remaining parts of something - ส่วนที่เหลืออยู่
  • removal: taking something or someone away from somewhere, or off something - การย้ายออก, การเคลื่อนย้ายได้, การถอนออก
  • replace: to put a new person or thing in the place of someone or something - แทน
  • resolution: an official decision that is made after a group or organisation have voted - มติ
  • resolve: to make a formal decision - ตัดสิน, มีมติ
  • rice pledging scheme: a government programme in which a fixed price, in this case well above the market price, is offered to rice farmers for their harvested rice - การจำนำข้าว
  • rival: competing; opposing - คู่แข่ง
  • role: the purpose or influence of someone or something in a particular situation - บทบาท
  • ruling  (noun): a judgement; a decision by a court of law - คำตัดสิน คำชี้ขาด
  • scheme: a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people - แผนการ โครงการ
  • secretary-general (noun): the person who is in charge of the department that deals with the running of a large international or political organisation - เลขาธิการ, เลขาธิการใหญ่
  • Senate: one of the two groups of politicians who make laws in some countries, for example in the US, Australia, Canada and Thailand - วุฒิสภา
  • senator: a member of the Senate - วุฒิสมาชิก
  • situation: all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์
  • source: someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว
  • spare: to prevent someone from having to experience something unpleasant - ละเว้น, งดเว้น, ยกโทษให้,อภัยโทษ
  • spirit: courage, determination or energy - เจตนา, ความมุ่งมั่น
  • stage: a part of an activity or process or a period of development - ช่วง, ระยะ, ตอน
  • status: legal position - สถานะ
  • submit: to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it - ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา
  • subsidy: an amount of money that a government or organisation pays to help to reduce the cost of a product or service - เงินชดเชยที่รัฐเป็นผู้จ่ายให้
  • suspension: stopping for a period of time - การยกเลิกชั่วคราว, การระงับชั่วคราว
  • tension: the feeling caused by a lack of trust between people, groups or countries - ความตึงเครียด
  • transfer: moving someone or something from one place, vehicle, person or group to another - การย้าย
  • under threat: at risk; in danger - ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง
  • United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD): the group originally formed to demonstrate against the 2006 coup and which supported the Somchai Wongsawat government against the PAD and which led the fight against the Abhisit government. They are known for wearing red shirts - แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาติ
  • vacant: empty - ว่าง
  • violate: to do something that is against the law - ละเมิดกฏหมาย
  • violent (adj): involving the use of physical force, with the intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people - รุนแรง

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