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Impeachment hearing of ousted Thai PM begins

Impeachment hearing of ousted Thai PM begins
Yingluck, 47, faces impeachment by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) over the controversial programme, which, though popular, cost billions of dollars and triggered protests that toppled her government. She also faces charges of dereliction of duty in supervising the programme. If impeached, Yingluck could be banned from politics for five years.

Yingluck, who showed up at parliament this morning amid tight security, was greeted by her supporters outside the parliament. But no huge crowd arrived as was anticipated.

Carrying 30 documents containing 139 pages to boost her defence, a smiling Yingluck offered an impassioned defence of the subsidy programme.

“I ran the government with honesty and in accordance with all laws,” she told the assembly.

“The rice pledging scheme... (was) aimed to address the livelihood of rice farmers, their debts and falling rice prices,” Yingluck said. “I was removed from office ? the equivalent of being impeached ? three times already. I have no position left to be impeached from. The impeachment today will affect policies aimed at helping farmers in the future.”

Yingluck rejected the charges against her and also questioned the necessity of her impeachment, saying it was redundant and unfair.

She said she was “ready for checks and balances so long as they are fair.” Yingluck said: “Rice pledging creates the multiplier effect and therefore more production, investment and gross domestic product.”

“The government can then collect more taxes. The programme did not affect fiscal discipline either.” 
Agencies

Agencies

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