Pheu Thai slams Democrat 'rice book'

The Pheu Thai Party has condemned the Democrats for an event to launch a new book about corruption in the rice-pledging scheme, saying the party is trying to influence the case against ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra and violated the NCPO’s ban on public gatherings.

The publicity event was held at the Democrat Party's headquarters to release Mahakarp Kong Khao (The Epic Rice Scheme), written by former Phitsanulok Democrat MP Warong Dejkijwikrom. Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and dozens of guests were invited to attend the book launching ceremony.   

Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit claimed the Democrats used the event to stage a political activity and slander their opponents. It was also attempting to steer the direction of the rice-pledging case as the Office of the Attorney-General was likely to announce its decision on whether to indict Ms Yingluck for dereliction of duty in the scheme on Thursday. 

“The rice-subsidy scheme implemented by the Pheu Thai Party in the past two years - farmers will judge if it was beneficial in improving their quality of life. It is not the duty of people in the Democrat Party,” Mr Prompong said.

He said the Democrat book event had breached the National Council for Peace and Order's (NCPO) ban on political party activities and martial law which prohibits public gatherings of more than five people. 

He called on council chiefs to look into the launch and accused Mr Abhisit and his party members of hindering national reconciliation efforts. Pheu Thai had been fully cooperating with the NCPO, he said, and supporting the new government to fully perform its duty. 

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