PM Yingluck Shinawatra denies allegations of rice program corruption

Feb. 21, 2014 at 11:28 AM
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BANGKOK, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra denied claims she didn't heed warnings of possible corruption in a rice subsidy program now riling Thailand's farmers.

The controversy over the rice program has deepened the political crisis that has mired Thailand for months, CNN reported Friday. Thailand's National Anti-Corruption Commission said Tuesday it was bringing charges against Yingluck over the program, which is supposed to pay rice farmers more than market rate and has had financial difficulties.

"I wish to assure you that as I have served my duty with righteousness and contrary to the charges brought against me by the NACC, I have done nothing wrong," Yingluck said in a statement Thursday.

The anti-corruption commission's charges accuse Yingluck of ignoring warnings of corruption and could lead to her suspension from all political positions, CNN said.

"Though I may be charged in this criminal case and may have to give up my position in accordance to the wishes of those who want to topple my government, I will still lend my full cooperation and give necessary information to the NACC," she said.

Yingluck has insisted the subsidy program has been successful and benefited farmers, but critics say it is a waste of public funds, has hurt exports and left the government with large stockpiles of rice that would have to be sold at a loss.

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