11 July 2024

More than 60% of respondents to an online opinion poll on a draft people’s amnesty bill, conducted by parliament, disagree with the bill, against 35.4% being in favour.

The draft bill was proposed by Poonsuk Poonsukcharoen, of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, and was seconded by 36,723 people. It was submitted to parliament for consideration.

Parliament conducted an online opinion survey on the draft, in accordance with Article 77 of the Constitution, between May 13 and June 12.

The gist of the bill is to seek amnesty for certain offences committed since the coup of September 19, 2006. They include: 

  • Those charged with lèse majesté
  • Civilians tried by a military court, in accordance with announcements 37/2557 and 38/2557 of the military junta
  • Offenders against the orders of the military junta or the head of the military junta
  • Violators of the State of Emergency
  • Violations of the referendum act to endorse the 2016 charter

Meanwhile 90,503 people voiced their opinions on line, with 64.66% voting against the draft bill.

Reacting to results, Deputy House Speaker Padipat Suntiphada said in his “x” post today that he had instructed parliamentary officials to investigate whether there is anything wrong with the poll.

Padipat is a former MP for the Move Forward party. He was expelled from the party in what was seen as a tactic to keep the deputy House speakership held by its own man, but under a different party banner.

The Move Forward party proposed its own version of an amnesty bill to parliament on October 6 last year.

That bill sought to pardon all political offenders involved in protests since 2006, including participants in the anti-government protests organised by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), who have already been convicted or are being tried.

State officials involved in the crackdowns on these protesters are excluded from the amnesty bill.

The bill also seeks to pardon offenders charged with lèse majesté. Belatedly, the Pheu Thai party has also been working on its own version of an amnesty bill, which was widely criticised as mainly aiming to spare paroled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra from a lèse majesté prosecution.

Main photo : Deputy House Speaker Padipat Suntiphada