Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has found Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of negligence in a case that could see her banned from politics for 5 years. The NACC is still investigating to see if Yingluck should also face criminal charges. The announcement today follows yesterday’s verdict by the Constitutional Court that removed Yingluck from her position as prime minister.
The NACC voted unanimously that Yingluck was guilty of negligence for not stopping corruption in a rice subsidy scheme when she was serving as the head of the National Rice Policy Committee. Under the scheme, the government promised to buy rice from Thai farmers at a price which was higher than the global market value. The scheme was plagued with problems and led to stockpiles of rice and allegations of corruption. Some rice farmers also complained that they hadn’t been paid what they were promised. Yingluck maintained she was responsible for formulating the policy but was not in charge of the day-to-day running. The issue will now go to the Thai Senate to vote.
Yesterday, Yingluck was ousted from her position as prime minister with nine other politicians also removed. The commerce minister, Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan, takes over from Yingluck as caretaker prime minister. Elections are scheduled to take place in July, but with matters heating up politically again in Thailand those elections remain uncertain. With the prospect of more legal actions together with protests and counter protests from pro- and anti-government groups it could be another tumultuous few months ahead for Thailand.