Thailand’s National Legislature Assembly (NLA) on January 9 began the first hearing of impeachment proceedings against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The charges relate to Yingluck’s alleged role in a government rice subsidy scheme. Howerer, she denied all the charges in her opening statement, affirming the scheme brought numerous benefits to farmers.

If impeached, she could be banned from politics for five years.
The NLA, hand-picked by the junta, plans to deliberate on whether Yingluck neglected her duty and failed to halt the rice subsidy programme, which accumulated losses of at least 4 billion USD and made the country lose its position as the world's leading rice exporter.

She was forced from office in early May by a court verdict that declared she had violated the constitution and abused power.

The next impeachment hearing is scheduled for January 16.-VNA