As many as 190 out of 219 legislators in Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on January 23 voted for impeaching former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for her role in a controversial rice subsidy programme.

With the decision, which required three-fifths of the votes, or 132 votes, Yingluck will be banned from politics for five years and thus be unable to contest the next general election expected in 2016.

On the same day, Thai Minister of Justice Surasak Threerattrakul announced that Yingluck will face criminal charges stemming from corruption accusations related to the rice subsidy programme.

He said after considering all witnesses’ testimonies and evidence from the National Anti-Corruption Committee, the case substantiates a criminal indictment charge against Yingluck. If found guilty of the criminal charge, she could face up to 10 years in prison.

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