Life ban for Shinawatras in latest charter draft

Life ban for Shinawatras in latest charter draft

Sakhon Sutasaeng, a retired Agriculture Ministry official, points at posters of former prime ministers Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra at his house in Dok Kra Jiew village in Khon Kaen. (Bloomberg photo)
Sakhon Sutasaeng, a retired Agriculture Ministry official, points at posters of former prime ministers Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra at his house in Dok Kra Jiew village in Khon Kaen. (Bloomberg photo)

Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck will likely disappear from the political scene for good based on the latest revision of the constitution draft.

However, most of the 220 politicians banned after their parties were dissolved in the aftermath of the 2006 coup — the so-called Houses No. 109 and 111 — would be able to return.

Constitution writers on Friday reviewed the qualifications for holders of political office, said Gen Lertrat Rattanavanich, a spokesman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC).

They decided that politicians who have been removed from office for four offences may not apply to become MPs or senators under Section 111 (15) of the draft.

The four offences are: (1) being unusually rich; (2) acting in ways that indicate corruption running counter to duties; (3) acting in ways that may demean public office; or (4) acting in ways that indicate corruption against judicial positions.

Section 111 (8) also bans for life persons who have received the "red cards" during an election — having been judged by a court or a legitimate order to have caused an election to be unfair.

For minor offences, the ban is five years. They include acting unethically, falsely declaring assets, or having been removed from office for deliberating exercising power in violation of the constitution or laws.

Gen Lertrat said the provisions were needed because Section 35 (4) of the interim charter required that the constitution drafters design mechanisms that ban corrupt politicians for good.

However, he declined to be specific about whether Thaksin and Ms Yingluck would be affected.

"I'd rather not say at the individual level since in some cases the Constitutional Court may need to interpret the law," he said.

But the facts are that Thaksin was ruled guilty by the one-tiered Supreme Court for politicians for being unusually rich and his assets were seized.

He was also found guilty of deliberately exercising his power and duties illegitimately when he allowed his wife to join a bid for a state land plot on Ratchadaphisek Road in Bangkok.

Ms Yingluck was impeached retroactively by the military-appointed National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for dereliction of duty for her role in the rice-pledging scheme. She still faces criminal charges related to the case.


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