Thai Opposition files impeachment, censure against PM

     The opposition Puea Thai Party has filed impeachment and censure motions against Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and five cabinet members. The motion to impeach the prime minister and the three cabinet ministers is signed by 161 Puea Thai MPs. The opposition also submitted a motion to censure Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij and Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya along with the four ministers. According to the Bangkok Post, the censure debate is expected to take place after this week's debate on the 2011 Budget Bill. The censure motion was signed by 184 of 186 Puea Thai MPs and filed with House Speaker Chai Chidchob. The documents accompanying the impeachment and censure motions include allegations of impropriety against five of the ministers, but no accusations were lodged against Abhisit. Deputy Prime Minister Suthep is accused of violating the constitution and failing to enforce the law. Chavarat is targeted for impeachment for allegedly abusing his authority and improper behaviour, particularly in the allocation of the national budget. Sophon is accused of tailoring policies to suit vested interests. Korn is accused of introducing improper monetary and financial policies and Kasit is targeted for allegedly damaging the country's image and threatening a neighbouring country as well as political rivals. Democrat MP Thepthai Senpong said the Puea Thai Party wanted to use the censure debate to distance itself from last Wednesday's dispersal of the red shirt protest and subsequent chaos rather than to conduct an inquiry into the government's actions. Meanwhile, Thailand 's Criminal Court on Tuesday approved an arrest warrant for convicted ousted former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra on terrorism charges. The Thai News Agency (TNA) said that the arrest warrant was approved a day after Department of Special Investigations (DSI) director-general Tharit Pengdit testified and showed a video clip to the court, the Nation newspaper's website reported. Thaksin was ousted by the military coup in September 2006, in accusation of massive corruption, and kept in exile since then.

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