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Ousted Thai PM Indicted over Rice-Buying Program; Faces Impeachment Vote

Thailand's Anti-Corruption Commission has dealt ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra another legal defeat, finding her guilty of negligence over a controversial rice subsidy program.

The commission unanimously ruled Thursday there was enough evidence to indict Ms. Yingluck over the program, which her critics say was riddled with corruption and wasted billions of dollars.

Anti-Corruption Commission member Vicha Mahakhun announced the verdict.



"The committee agrees, 7-0, that the accused intended to use power and her role in an unconstitutional way which conflicted with the constitution section 178 and it is clearly shown that the accused intended to use her power and her role in a way that conflicts with the administration law. Therefore, the commission agreed to file the complaint to remove the accused from the position."



The case will now proceed to the Senate, where Ms. Yingluck will face an impeachment vote that could see her receive a five-year ban from politics.

The decision comes a day after the Thai Constitutional Court decided to remove Ms. Yingluck and nine of her cabinet members from power over a separate case involving the reassigning of a senior civil servant.

She was replaced as caretaker prime minister by Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan , who is a close ally of Ms. Yingluck and her influential brother, ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.



The decisions send Thailand deeper into a prolonged political deadlock that pits the mostly rural ad poor supporters of Mr. Thaksin and Ms. Yingluck against the mostly middle class opposition.

For six months, opposition protesters had tried to force Ms. Yingluck's government from power, saying she is corrupt and a puppet of her brother, a divisive figure in Thai politics.

Despite the rulings, many protesters are not satisfied, since much of Ms. Yingluck's government remains in place. They are calling for a "final offensive" in the form of a mass protest Friday.

Supporters of Ms. Yingluck and Mr. Thaksin have also called for a large rally Saturday to protest the ruling, which they said was politically motivated.

Over two dozen people have died since the protests broke out late last year. There are fears that this week's rallies could result in more violence.

Thai police say a grenade was thrown early Thursday at the home of one of the judges of the country's Constitutional Court, which ruled against Ms. Yingluck.

Police say no one was injured in the early morning attack, though the grenade did cause minor damage to a roof and a vehicle at the judge's Bangkok home. A bank and hospital were also damaged by grenades overnight.

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