Following Nick Nostitz’s very informative coverage of the opposition to what he calls “reconciliation games,” below is an unofficial translation of the four versions of the important articles of the proposed reconciliation bills.
Given the recent mayhem in parliament, the debate on the bills has been put on hold at least until the next parliamentary session in August. This has ended speculation that the third reading might be called in the House-Senate joint meeting. This is a commendable move on the part of House Speaker, Somsak Kiatsuranont, to not purposely exclude opposition to the bills, such as from the Democrats, and to heed the calls from the judiciary.
Pheu Thai suffered an embarrassing blow from its failed attempt to boycott the Constitution Court’s order to postpone constitutional amendment. When it came time for the House-Senate deliberation on the boycott, in which the ruling government needed 322 votes to pass, they merely garnered 318 votes despite their majority. Only 41 out of 149 senators agreed, while 8 MPs from Chat Thai Pattana were no shows, resulting in an angry phone call to Banharn from Thaksin. Worse, 16 Pheu Thai MPs were absent. Nattawut Saikua admits there is a “rift” within the party as to the role of the Constitutional Court as well as what should constitute the “unity bill.”
There are four versions to the proposed unity bills. Only one of them was presided over by a non-Pheu Thai member. None of the proposed bills included the Democrat Party, however. Also note that none of the proposed bills mention Article 112 of the penal code.
All official drafts can be viewed on-line at the Thai Parliament Information System.
Draft I: proposed by General Sonthi Boonyaratklin (Matubhumi Party) and MPs from Chart Thai Pattana Party, Mahachon Party, Chart Pattana Party, Palangchol Party, New Democrat Party, Pheau Thai Party
- Article 3. Anyone whose actions relating to political protests or political activities between 15 September 2005 and 10 May 2011 that were against the law shall be given amnesty. This applies to both ordinary citizens and state authorities.
- Article 4. Any pending investigation on individuals who meet the criteria of article 3 must cease and anyone who has partially served his/her term will be released immediately.
- Article 5. Any individual who has been affected by the action of individuals, groups or authorities set up by the Council for Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy (CDRCM) will no longer be considered as an offender. Article 4 will apply to such individual.
- Article 6. Voting rights of members of political parties that were dissolved shall be reinstated.
Draft II: proposed by Niyom Worapanya and Pheu Thai MPs
- Article 3. Any individual or groups who were affected by the coup d’état on 19 September 2006 up until the day this legislation is promulgated shall be given amnesty. This includes individuals and state officials who acted on the orders of the CDRCM; individuals whose political rights have been revoked; actions relating to protest or opposition to the CDRCM; actions by independent bodies according to articles 1,2,3 and 4 of the interim 2006 constitution or the 2007 constitution.
Draft III: proposed by Nattawut Saikua and Pheu Thai MPs (Red Shirt version)
- Article 3. Anyone whose actions relating to political protests or political activities between 15 September 2005 and 10 May 2011 that were against the law shall be given amnesty. Any pending investigation on individuals who meet the criteria of Article 3 must cease and anyone who has partially served his/her term will be released immediately. However this article does not apply to terrorist acts or actions aimed to hurt the lives of others.
Draft IV: proposed by Samart Kaewmeechai and Pheu Thai MPs
- Similar to General Sonthi’s draft version