The Democrat Party on Tuesday filed a petition with Senate Speaker Teeradej Meepien seeking the removal from office of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul over the re-issuing of an ordinary Thai passport for ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Democrat legal team member Wirat Kallayasiri and MP for Songkhla province Chaiwut Phongphaew filed the petition on behalf of the party. They asked the senate speaker to forward it to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for consideration.
Mr Wirat said the petition was signed by 145 MPs, more than the required 125. He believed it would take about 15 days for the Senate to verify the signatories' names and qualifications.
He said the party wanted Mr Surapong removed because he re-issued a passport for Thaksin despite the fact that the former prime minister was sentenced to a jail term by the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions in the Ratchadapisek land case.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (left) and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul (Photo by Kosol Nakachol)
Moreover, Thaksin is wanted on terrorism charges under a warrant issued by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) which prohibits him from travelling out of the country.
Mr Wirat said Mr Surapong had violated the Foreign Ministry's regulations concerning the issue of passports.
As for Ms Yingluck, Mr Chaiwut had sent a letter to the prime minister, who supervises the Foreign Ministry, asking that she revoke the passport reissued to Thaksin by Jan 9, but no action had been taken.
Ms Yingluck had clearly neglected to perform her duty, Mr Wirat said.
Mr Wirat said the party would tomorrow submit a request that the NACC investigate Ms Yingluck and Mr Surapong for malfeasance in office in violation of Section 157 of the Criminal Code.
The Network of Volunteer Citizens to Protect the Land has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate if the cabinet's resolution of Jan 10 to set aside two billion baht to compensate victims of political violence between 2005 and 2010 is against the law.
Network coordinator Tul Sitthisomwong today submitted the request to Panit Nitithanprapas, the chief ombudsman.
Dr Tul said the two billion baht was mainly intended for the red-shirt supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) who staged protests in violation of the constitution and in defiance of the emergency decree.
Many UDD co-leaders, and also former premier Thaksin, have been charged with terrorism.
Therefore, the cabinet resolution was intended to benefit those who broke the law and was unlawful, he said.
Dr Tul said the resolution was also discriminatory because it did not cover other people who died in earlier political violence such as victims of the Oct 14, 1973 student uprising and the Oct 6, 1976 bloodshed or victims of the insurgency in the southern border provinces.
The network's petition asks the Office of the Ombudsdman to ask the Administrative Court to revoke the controversial resolution, Dr Tul said.