Red shirts party defends former Thai PM over rice pledging scheme hinh anh 1Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra appears at the court. (Photo: Reuters/VNA)

Thailand’s Pheu Thai Party, or the red shirts, issued a statement on October 22 defending former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for the controversial rice pledging scheme that cost the nation billions of US dollars.

The party said the rice pledging scheme was its flagship policy to improve the livelihoods of about 3.7 million farming households, or 23 percent of the country’s population.

The plan was a key Pheu Thai campaign promise in 2011 that helped the party win the vote.

According to Pheu Thai, around 870 million baht, or 24.4 million USD, has been paid directly to rice farmers without “any leaks or any other people benefiting from the scheme”.

The unsold rice brought under the plan is still being held in stockpiles throughout the nation and can be sold in the global market to generate revenue for the state.

Furthermore, the National Anti-Corruption Commission has confirmed that there is no evidence to prove Yingluck Shinawatra was involved in any corruption, the party said.

It also underscored that it was illegal for the military government to force the civil litigation against the former prime minister without the final verdict of the Supreme Court.-VNA