Tightening the Noose

Thailand Ex-Premier Yingluck Impeached

In a widely expected action, Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly impeached former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday, banning her from politics for five years. The vote by the 220-member, junta-appointed assembly was a lopsided 190-18. The country’s attorney general’s office also announced that it will file criminal charges against the former premier, who was removed from office last year. The impeachment and criminal cases both involve the National Anti-Corruption Commission investigation into an allegedly graft-ridden rice-pledging program implemented by Yingluck’s government, which was overthrown in a May 2014 coup. The commission says Yingluck was negligent for failing to stop losses from the program, which bought rice from farmers at above-market rates. Those losses apparently will amount to some 600 billion Thai baht, or $20 billion.