12/02/2008, 00.00
THAILAND
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Bangkok, the Constitutional Court outlaws the ruling majority

Judges have ordered the dissolution of the People’s Power Party and another two government coalition partners, accusing them of electoral fraud. Charges are also brought against Premier Somchai and other political leaders, banned from political activities for five years. At Don Mueang airport one dead and 23 wounded in a grenade explosion.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Thailand’s Constitutional Court has ordered the ruling majority People’s Power Party, to dissolve along with another two minority coalition partners.

They stand accuse of electoral fraud in the last general ballot. The Constitutional court has also banned Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat and other political leaders from actively taking part in politics for the next five years.  The current constitution however, provide for many of the parliamentarians currently listed as members of the outlawed parties to keep their seats and to form new parties.  They have already announced their intention to form a new movement and their intention to hold onto leadership of the nation.

Premier Somchai states that he accepts the judge’s decision, but reaffirms his intention to continue in politics: “I did my best – he says – and now I pass the baton on to those who will continue my work.  I will not leave the party; I will continue to give my contribution”.  According to sources close to the leadership the new Premier could be Chavarat Charnvirakul, who filled the role during Prime Minister Somchai’s absence when he was on visit to Peru.

The Courts ruling was greeted with cries of joy by demonstrators from the Peoples Alliance for Democracy, still barricaded in the international airport of Suvarnabhumi. Opposing sentiments were expressed by government supporters: hundreds of demonstrators have accused the judges of aiming to sabotage democracy and of going against the will of the people.

In the interim, the siege of the two main National airports continues: a local television reports that a grenade explosion took place today December 2nd shortly after midnight. According to Pimrat Amornsakolsuvech, emergency services chief in Narainthorn Hospital Bangkok, the explosion in the main terminal of Don Mueang airport, used principally for domestic flights, left one person dead and 23 others wounded.

 

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