Ukrit Mongkolnavin, chairman of the Independent Committee for Promotion of the Rule of Law, presented an amnesty bill to the prime minister yesterday.
Ukrit: ‘Better than an executive decree’
Mr Ukrit said his bill will work better than an executive decree in reconciling the colour-coded conflict.
The bill seeks to grant an amnesty to protesters who took part in political rallies from Sept 19, 2006 to May 10, 2011. The amnesty would exclude the protest leaders and law enforcement authorities.
Mr Ukrit said the amnesty for colour-coded political offenders should be passed in an act of parliament, not an executive decree, because an act would allow lawmakers more control over the content of the law.
The amnesty bill was submitted to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra as head of the cabinet yesterday. It will now be sent to the Council of State.
Mr Ukrit said he was confident the bill would be passed quickly should it reach the House. A bill makes more sense than a decree because the public is more likely to accept a law that has been scrutinised by politicians, he said.
A red-shirt faction has called for an executive decree to grant an amnesty. The group based the call on recommendations made by the Nitirat group of academics.
Mr Ukrit said any decree issued by the cabinet would not solve the political problem and would lead to a dead-end. A decree would allow no debate by parliamentarians as it would have to be approved as the wording stood, he said.
The decree may also not stand up to a constitutionality test, he said.
Weng Tojirakarn, Pheu Thai Party list MP and a red-shirt co-leader, however, said the Ukrit bill could be subject to delays if lawmakers want to debate it.