Thai PM says to push for Thaksin amnesty in 2 yrs

BANGKOK Fri Feb 8, 2008 6:42pm IST

Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej speaks during an interview at the People Power Party (PPP) headquarters in Bangkok February 8, 2008. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang

Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej speaks during an interview at the People Power Party (PPP) headquarters in Bangkok February 8, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Sukree Sukplang

Related Topics

BANGKOK (Reuters) - New Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said on Friday he would push for the lifting of the political ban on ousted leader Thaksin Shinawatra and his top party officials in two years.

"They didn't do anything wrong," Samak said, referring to Thaksin and the 110 other senior members of his Thai Rak Thai (Thais Love Thais) party barred from politics for five years for election fraud.

Thaksin was removed in a September 2006 coup and now lives in exile in London and Hong Kong.

"So if we can give them amnesty, we should give," said Samak, who came to power as a self-confessed proxy for the still-exiled billionaire politician.

With a sympathetic administration in place in Bangkok, Thaksin looks likely to return to Thailand some time in May, although Samak said there was no question of the government trying to quash a corruption case filed against him and his wife.

"Thaksin must come back to face the court," the 72-year-old former Bangkok governor told foreign reporters two days after the official swearing in of a cabinet packed with Thaksin loyalists and their relatives.

"We must believe in the courts," he said.

The unashamedly right-wing Samak also vowed to resurrect Thaksin's 2003 "war on drugs", in which 2,500 alleged dealers were killed.

"It must be the same," Samak said of a campaign in which human rights groups accused Thaksin of giving police a licence to kill. Thaksin's administration said most of the deaths were the result of internecine drug turf wars.

Public concern about rising levels of narcotics abuse, especially in relatively poor rural areas, was a big issue in the Dec. 23 election in which Samak's People Power Party came within a whisker of an outright majority.

"Why would we let this happen in our country?" he said.

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ebola Outbreak

REUTERS SHOWCASE

School Shooting

School Shooting

Two killed, four wounded in Washington state school shooting.  Full Article 

Mideast Crisis

Mideast Crisis

Kurds reject Erdogan report of deal with Syrian rebels to aid besieged Kobani.  Full Article 

Canada Shooting

Canada Shooting

Canada vows tougher laws as citizens worry in face of attacks.  Full Article 

"Unilateral Diktat"

"Unilateral Diktat"

Putin accuses United States of damaging world order.  Full Article 

Nuclear Threat

Nuclear Threat

U.S. general says he believes N. Korea can build nuclear warhead.  Full Article 

Hatchet Attack

Hatchet Attack

NYC police say hatchet attack by Islam convert was terrorism.  Full Article 

Bollywood World

Bollywood World

Read stories and reviews Bollywood films.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage