Former Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra banned from politics

World Today

Thailand’s former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, center, leaves parliament in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. Thailand’s military-appointed legislature is set to vote on impeachment against Yingluck over a government’s rice subsidy scheme on Friday. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Thailand’s former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Friday that democracy in her country was dead after the military-appointed legislature voted to ban her from politics for five years and the prosecutor announced plans to indict her on criminal charges in connection with a money-losing rice subsidy program.

The twin actions by the legislature and the attorney general against Yingluck are widely seen as an attempt by the military junta to cripple the political machine founded by Yingluck’s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, another ousted prime minister, and prevent them from returning to power.

The legislature voted 190-18 to impeach Yingluck for her role in overseeing a government rice subsidy program that lost billions of dollars. The vote results in her being banned from political office for five years.

Separately, the attorney general’s office said it would indict her on criminal charges for negligence related to losses and alleged corruption in the rice program. If convicted, Yingluck could face 10 years in jail.

She was forced by a court ruling last May to step down from her job for illegally transferring a civil servant, and just days later the army staged a coup against her government.

In her appearance before Parliament on Thursday, she denied she was responsible for any corruption and questioned the fairness of an investigation by the state anti-corruption commission, which had recommended charges against her.

This report was complied with information from The Associated Press