Thailand Update: Samak Out, State of Emergency Lifted

Thailand Protests: Bangkok, September 2008

It’s been less than a week since I last wrote about the protests here in Bangkok.

A lot has happened since then.

Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej has been forced from office. Thailand’s Constitutional Court found him guilty of breaking the law by continuing to host his TV cooking show. At first, Samak’s political party, the PPP, said they’d re-nominate him for PM. Then parliament met on Friday to vote on the matter, but coalition parties and even some PPP MPs boycotted the vote. So word trickled out, late on Friday, that the PPP would nominate someone different for the post. Samak is now out.

Meanwhile, the state of emergency has been lifted here in Bangkok. And the parliament is due to meet this week to vote on a new PM. (The caretaker PM, interestingly enough, is now the PPP’s Somchai Wongsawat, brother in law of…Thaksin Shinawatra.)

If you’d like to see some images of the protests, here are 35 photos I’ve just posted from my visits to Government House. Demonstrators are now occupying the compound for a third week.

Here’re the latest headlines:

AP: “Thailand lifts emergency, citing drop in tourism”

AFP: “Thailand lifts state of emergency”

NY Times/IHT: “Drop in Thai tourism leads to plea for end to crisis”

Bloomberg: “Thailand Votes on Premier This Week After Emergency Rule Lifted”

WSJ: “Thailand’s Ruling Party Abandons Bid for Samak”

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