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Democrats call for Yingluck to quit over rice-pledging

Farmers protest in front of Buri Ram Provincial Hall yesterday. One of the banners says,

Farmers protest in front of Buri Ram Provincial Hall yesterday. One of the banners says,

Democrat Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut yesterday called on caretaker Premier Yingluck Shinawatra to resign - to take responsibility for irregularities in the controversial rice-pledging scheme.

"She is losing the legitimacy to push for reforms. Who will listen to her? If she is sincere, she should step down. She can use this [NACC resolution] as an excuse [to resign] with her brother Thaksin," he said.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) resolved on Thursday to press charges against 15 people involved in fake government-to-government rice deals claimed to have been signed by the government.

The NACC said it will also investigate Yingluck for alleged dereliction of duty for allowing corruption to plague the scheme.

Chavanond said the NACC decision showed the rice-pledging policy was wrong and could lead to graft.



Former Democrat MP Warong Dechgitvigrom, who filed the complaint against Yingluck in relation to the scheme with the NACC, said the commission's decision should serve as a lesson for civil servants to learn that they cannot get away with illegal behaviour.

Meanwhile, the NACC will officially inform Yingluck of its upcoming investigation into her alleged dereliction of duty in allowing corruption to plague the rice-pledging scheme.

The PM will also be given a list of people leading the inquiry.

The NACC issued a resolution to set up a subcommittee to investigate Yingluck, who is also caretaker defence minister.

"She will be informed of the NACC resolution and names of the subcommittee's members," NACC deputy secretary-general Vittaya Arkompituak said yesterday.

He explained that Yingluck had the right to seek a change in the make-up of the subcommittee, and if her reasons were justified, the NACC would appoint replacements. "But if there is no sound reason, there will be no change," Vittaya said.






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