>Thai anti-gov’t group moves to impeach cabinet over Cambodian temple issue


BANGKOK, July 11 (Xinhua) — Thailand’s civil political coalition People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) continued their campaign to bring down the government led by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej (pictured), moving to impeach the cabinet on Friday over the PreahVihear Temple issue.

PAD leaders Pipop Thongchai, Somsak Kosaisook and Suriyasai Katasila on Friday submitted a petition with Senate Speaker Prasobsuk Boondech to seek impeachment of the Samak-led cabinet, alleging that it has violated the law by allowing the signing of the Thai-Cambodian Joint Communique to support Cambodia’s bid to list the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage site, according to Thai News Agency.

Somsak accused the government of having deliberately broken Article 270 of the Constitution, by allowing Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama to sign the communique with Cambodia on June 18 without seeking parliamentary endorsement in advance, an act that the Constitutional Court ruled as in breach of the Constitution on Tuesday.

Nappadon has announced resignation from the cabinet on Thursday to take responsibility for the court ruling. He insisted he and the Foreign Ministry had done nothing wrong in the case, though.

Somsak also alleged that the signing was not handled in a transparent manner and that it has led to Cambodia’s success in getting the temple listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site on Tuesday.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which held a meeting in Quebec, Canada, has approved Cambodia’s bid despite that Noppadon flied to explain Thailand’s withdrawal of support for its neighbor’s bid.

The Committee cited that since the International Court of Justice in 1962 has ruled that the temple sits on Cambodian territory, Thailand’s concern about the overlapping areas near the temple could not play any role in the decision regarding Cambodia’s application.

The Senate Speaker said he would proceed with the impeachment case once the PAD has acquired 20,000 signatures within 180 days as required by law.

Another PAD leader Suriyasai said was confident he would be able to submit the list by July 14.

The PAD, known as a political group against the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, has been holding rallies in central Bangkok since May 25 to call for the step-down of the Samak government, which the PAD seen as a “proxy” of Thaksin after he was ousted in a military coup in September, 2006 and banned by court from running in elections for five years.

Editor: Lin Li

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