Thursday, September 11, 2008

By John Brandon

John Brandon is The Asia Foundation’s Director for International Relations programs. He can be reached atjbrandon@asiafound-dc.org. For on-the-ground analysis of the situation in Thailand, click here for The Asia Foundation’s Country Representative in Thailand, James Klein’s, comments to the Christian Science Monitor. He can be reached atjklein@asiafound.org.

On September 8th, Thailand’s constitutional court rendered the decision that Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej must resign after being found guilty of violating a ban on ministers for taking money from a private company.  Article 267 of the constitution prohibits ministers from taking money from outside interests.  In this case it was for accepting money from a TV station to appear on his popular cooking show, “Tasting and Grumbling.”   Some may argue that rule of law has won the day as Samak has become the first Prime Minister to ever have to resign by court order.  Most former Thai prime ministers have fallen from power by military coup.  To Samak’s credit, which he has earned little as of late, he has agreed to accept and abide by the court’s verdict.

But does the constitutional court’s decision end the political paralysis Thailand is facing?  (more…)

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