Postcard from... Bangkok


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The Independent Online

Thailand’s government has urged supporters of ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to stay out of Bangkok when the legislature begins an impeachment hearing against her.

The case against Ms Yingluck, who was ousted in May, days before her government was overthrown in a coup, begins today and could see her banned from politics for five years. Ms Yingluck remains popular among the rural poor who elected her in a 2011 landslide. “We urge Yingluck’s supporters not to travel to Bangkok tomorrow. If you want to give her encouragement, you can do so from home or over the telephone,” said Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan. Police would prevent any violence outside parliament, where the impeachment hearing will take place, he said.

Ms Yingluck was removed from office after a court found her guilty of abuse of power. Days later the military staged a coup, ending months of sometimes violent protests.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission found her guilty of mishandling the rice subsidy programme, which was estimated to have run up losses of $15bn.

The National Legislative Assembly could make a decision by the end of the month. REUTERS