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Thai opposition wants to impeach premier

 Thailand's opposition member of parliament from Pheu Thai Party Peeraphan Palusuk, front left, submits a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister ...
 Thailand's opposition member of parliament from Pheu Thai Party Peeraphan Palusuk, left, greets Senate Speaker Prasobsuk Boondej, right, after submit...

Thailand Politics

Thailand's opposition member of parliament from Pheu Thai Party Peeraphan Palusuk, front left, submits a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister ...

Thailand Politics

Thailand's opposition member of parliament from Pheu Thai Party Peeraphan Palusuk, left, greets Senate Speaker Prasobsuk Boondej, right, after submit...

Foes of Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva filed an impeachment motion Wednesday that accuses him of taking power illegitimately and supporting the protests that culminated in last year's siege of Bangkok's airports.
Thailand's parliamentary opposition, allied with former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, submitted the motion to the upper house of parliament, said Senate Speaker Prasobsuk Boondej.
The move _ which requires three-fifth of the votes in the Senate_ was not expected to topple Abhisit's government, but analysts said it could affect public sentiment and weaken its support.
It was signed by 158 of the 480 lawmakers in the lower house and will be forwarded to an anti-graft agency within 15 days before being returned to the Senate for a vote, Prasobsuk said. A debate is scheduled for later this month.
"Their goal is to undermine the government's legitimacy and public confidence," said Sukhum Nuansakul, a political scientist at Bangkok's Ramkhamhaeng University. "But it is unlikely that they will persuade senators to switch their alliance immediately."
The Senate is roughly evenly divided between pro- and anti-government members.
The motion alleged Abhisit took power illegitimately and accused him of supporting anti-Thaksin protests last year, which culminated in a siege of Bangkok's airports, said Parliament member Pirapan Palasuk.
It also criticized Abhisit for appointing a foreign minister who publicly supported the protest movement.
Thailand was plagued by political upheaval last year when demonstrators who oppose Thaksin's allies in the previous government occupied the seat of government for three months. They also held Bangkok's two airports for eight days in November and December.
Abhisit became prime minister in December after court rulings ousted a government of Thaksin's allies, ending the protests. Abhisit's Democrat Party cobbled together a ruling coalition from defecting supporters of the previous government.
Critics said the court rulings and Abhisit's appointment came under pressure from the military and other unelected groups.
Thaksin, a former telecommunications tycoon, remains popular among the rural majority. He now lives in self-imposed exile after being forced from office in a 2006 military coup.


Updated : 2020-12-05 16:52 GMT+08:00