Thai authorities dealt a double blow to ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her powerful family on Friday, banning her from politics for five years and proceeding with criminal charges for negligence that could put her in jail.
The moves could stoke tension in the politically divided country still living under martial law after the military seized power in May, toppling the remnants of Yingluck's government after months of street protests.
The ban and the legal case are the latest chapter in 10 years of turbulent politics that have pitted Yingluck and her brother Thaksin, himself a former prime minister, against the royalist-military establishment which sees the Shinawatras as a threat and reviles their populist policies.
Yingluck will face criminal charges in the Supreme Court and if found guilty faces up to 10 years in jail, the Attorney General's Office said on Friday.
The charge against the country's first female premier, who was removed from office for abuse of power in May days before the coup, concern her role in a scheme that paid farmers above market prices for rice and cost Thailand billions of dollars.
The capital's streets were quiet on Friday, as residents adhered to the military junta's ban on public gatherings.