Thai parliament to meet in emergency session tomorrow

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Bangkok, Aug 30 (UNI) Thailand's parliament will tomorrow hold an emergency session to discuss the escalating anti-government protests across the country that have raised apprehension of another military takeover.

Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej's coalition partners met yesterday following street clashes between police and members of the civil society campaign demanding Mr Samak's resignation.

Mr Samak was scheduled to meet Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej this evening to brief him on the situation.

Thousands of members of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) remained in the premises of the Prime Minister's office for the fifth day today, defying court orders and police attempts to evict them.

The PAD supporters also stormed airports in the three major south Thailand tourist destinations of Phuket, Krabi and Hat Yai yesterday disrupting flights.

Flights from Bangkok to Phuket and Krabi remained cancelled today with the two airports still closed down.

The PAD, which had organised mass street rallies against then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra accusing him of corruption and cronyism leading to the military takeover in September 2006, alleges Mr Samak's administration is a proxy for the ousted leader.

Amid growing speculation over another army intervention, there were conflicting media reports that the influential army chief had advised Mr Samak to resign.

The army chief, however, told reporters that the army would not intervene in the political situation. Leading ruling coalition leader and former prime minister Banharn Silpa-archa, also denied reports in a section of the media that Mr Samak's coalition partners would pull out of the government.

Political observers noted that Mr Samak with four decades of experience in public life was trying to outwit the PAD by his reluctance to crack down on the protest.


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