Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Opposition Appears to Gain in Thai Crisis

The battle of wills between the Thai government and tens of thousands of protesters barricaded in the streets of Bangkok appeared to turn in favor of the protesters on Monday, when the country’s army chief shunned a military solution to the crisis and the prime minister’s party suddenly and unexpectedly faced the prospect of dissolution.

Two days after repulsing a blood-soaked military crackdown, the protesters cheered jubilantly at the announcement that Thailand’s Election Commission had recommended that the party of the prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, be disbanded on charges of receiving an illegal donation.

“This government’s time in power is nearly over,” Veera Musikapong, a protest leader, said to throngs of protesters in the commercial heart of the city. Mr. Veera and other opposition figures said they would maintain their demonstrations to press Mr. Abhisit to resign.

The announcement by the Election Commission came hours after the head of the army, Gen. Anupong Paochinda, appeared to rule out further military action to remove protesters, saying, “The situation requires that the problem be solved by politics.”

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/13/world/asia/13thai.html?ref=asia

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