Thai Court PM Removed Thai PM
Wed, December 3, 2008 Leave a comment
Thai PM Removed, Protesters to Leave Airports
Due to corruption the Constitutional court of Thailand has ruled that the Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, his party and his coalition partners are banned from politics. The decision had led the anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy to pledge to allow flights to resume at Bangkok’s international airport.
The People’s Alliance for Democracy on Tuesday agreed to allow flights to resume. But airport officials say it could be several days before full operations resume.
The PAD decision came hours after a Thai constitutional court disbanded the three leading parties in the government coalition.
The verdicts were announced, under strict security, after the judges were forced to move to another building after the constitutional court was surrounded by pro-government demonstrators.
The ruling follows court findings that the main coalition party, the People Power Party, Chart Thai and another partner, violated election laws during the December 2007 general elections. Several executives from each party also were banned from politics for five years.
The verdict concurrently removes Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat from office. A PPP spokesman says party members in parliament not directly affected by the ruling will join a new party that already has been created.
Deputy Prime Minister Chavarat Charnveerakul has been named interim prime minister until a new coalition government is formed and a new prime minister can be selected.
Pro-government supporters have accused the judiciary of bias and staging a “silent coup” against Mr. Somchai and his brother-in-law, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The PAD regarded that he and the party acted as a nominee for Thaksin Shinawatra.
The PAD calls the verdict a victory, following months of long protests, including a three-month siege of the main government office building.
Thailand’s tourism industry and air cargo have been severely disrupted by the airport occupation, leading to hundreds of millions of dollars in lost income. It is estimated that up to a quarter of a million tourists remain stranded because of the occupation.
Soon after the ruling, the government postponed a summit of Southeast Asian leaders, which was to start December 13.