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Protests force House to adjourn indefinitely

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    Posted: 01 Jun 12 at 17:00
Yellow Shirt Protests force
House ot adjourn indefinitely
BANGKOK, June 1 - Thailand's House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont called off a debate on reconciliation bills scheduled for this afternoon indefinitely as yellow shirt activists and protesters blocked lawmakers access to parliament.

"I have cancelled the deliberation on the reconciliation bill indefinitely to ease division and restore the atmosphere of harmony," Mr Somsak told reporters.

The House speaker made the announcement as protesters from the People's Alliance for Democracy--the yellow shirts -- and the multi-coloured group joined forces to block a main road that lead to the only entrance of parliament since early morning.

Mr Somsak earlier called for the House to reconvene at 1.30pm only to cancel it shortly afterward when 20 police vans carrying ruling Pheu Thai party MPs from party headquarters were unable to access the parliament due to the protesters' blockade.

All the vans had to return to the party headquarters.

The protesters continued their demonstration into the third consecutive days in frustration with the Speaker pushing forward discussion of the reconciliation bills onto today's agenda and that sparked chaotic scenes in the chamber for the past two days.

Opposition Democrat party MPs opposed the bills which they and the protest leaders said would benefit fugitive ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra among others and help bring him home from several years of self-exile without serving jail term.

The parliamentary session was disrupted again on Thursday after the majority of MPs voted to move the reconciliation bills to the top of the today agenda.

Mr Somsak was the main target of some opposition MPs who vented their anger at him and accused him of serving Mr Thaksin’s interest.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai party spokesperson Prompong Nopparit said he and the party's legal team had sought impeachment of four Democrat MPs for 'inappropriate behaviour' against the House Speaker. The Speaker will forward the impeachment motion to the ombudsman for investigation.

The four MPs are Apichart Supapang of Phetchburi, Pongvej Vejjajiva of Chanthaburi, Kulladej Puapattanakul of Uthai Thani and Rangsima Rodrassamee of Samut Songkram.

In addition, Mr Prompong said, evidence has been collected to prove that Ms Rangsima allegedly urged the protesters to storm into parliament, which could violate the political party act and that could lead to dissolution of the party.

Mr Prompong said he would submit the evidence for the Office of the Attorney-General for consideration before forwarding it for the Constitution Court's deliberation. (MCOT online)

-- TNA 2012-06-01

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