Sunday, May 27, 2007

Thailand braced for leap into political unknown

King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Now this is scary. With the military in control, the Thai government was shaky enough and now this.
Thailand is braced for a leap into the unknown this week as a court decides whether to disband the country's top two parties and ban their leaders from politics for breaching election laws.

Fears are widespread the verdicts on Wednesday may escalate the coup-prone nation's political uncertainty into chaos.

Those fears were laid out starkly by King Bhumibol Adulyadej when he summoned top judges to warn them whatever decisions the Constitutional Tribunal made would upset somebody.

"Whatever the verdict will be, it will bring damage to the country. Whatever direction it will take, it will be erroneous," he said in a 15-minute speech to the judges.

The words of the monarch, who is genuinely revered, prompted the Thai Rak Thai (Thais Love Thais) party of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and the Democrat Party to promise restraint.

"There will be people who are unhappy with the verdicts and will protest on the street, but I don't think there will be hundreds of thousands," Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said.

(read more)

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