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Impeachment: Legal adviser of Thaksin not censured

Thailand’s former foreign minister Noppadon Pattama has avoided impeachment for the 2008 signing of a communique in support of Cambodia’s bid to list Preah Vihear temple as a UNESCO World Heritage site. A Friday vote by Thailand’s senate, according to the Bangkok Post, gathered just 57 of the 90 votes necessary to impeach Noppadon retroactively and bar him from politics for five years, a fate that has befallen dozens of politicians aligned with Thailand’s fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in recent years. Noppadon, who is currently Thaksin’s legal adviser, served as foreign minister under former prime minister Samak Sundaravej. Critics of Noppadon say that he violated the Thai constitution by authorising the communique, signed jointly with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An on June 18, 2008, without first consulting the Thai parliament for approval. The government of Thailand’s current prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, has since expressed its opposition to Preah Vihear’s UNESCO inscription solely for Cambodia. Since then, at least seven troops have been killed in skirmishes between Thai and Cambodian troops.

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