Last update: 10:40 p.m. EDT Sept. 1, 2008 By MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch -- Thai authorities declared a state of emergency in Bangkok Tuesday, banning public gatherings and authorizing the army to take control following clashes between anti-government groups and pro-government supporters of embattled Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej that left one person dead.
The sweeping emergency powers were announced via radio and television early Tuesday, hours after the street fights broke out
"Because last night there was unrest affecting the peaceful law and order in the country and obstructing the democratic process, the government has declared a state of emergency, which will affect people's individual freedoms," according to newswire reports citing the radio address.
The clashes follow Samak's statement Sunday that he would not resign, despite five days of protests in which the right-wing protesters seized the government's headquarters.
The anti-government protesters have claimed Samak is affiliated with the ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.The violence late Monday near main a government complex left one person dead and dozens injured