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Asia-pacific

Constitutional Court decision could spark coup

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by Cyril PAYEN

Latest update : 2008-12-02

A judgement by the Thai Constitutional Court on Tuesday could signal the end of the present government. As the blockade of Bangkok's terminals continues, one protester was killed and 20 others wounded by a bomb at Don Mueang airport.

As the figures stack up, there is a clear picture developing of a very real disaster unfolding in Thailand.

 

There are a quarter of a million tourists languishing in the country with no way out as Thailand’s main airports remain blocked by anti-government protesters.
 
Tourist arrivals, vital to the Thai economy, are down at least 50%.
 
Factories across the country are beginning to close their doors as the full impact of the protests starts to take a stranglehold on the country.
 
If the airport is evacuated – and there is little evidence on the ground that this will be completed any time soon – it will take at least a week before it would be fully operational.
 
No one, not least the army or the police, wants to be seen to take the first step to block the protests.
 
The Constitutional Court, however, could turn everything on its head.
 
Tuesday will be a decisive day. The court will decide definitively if there was electoral fraud, in which most members of the ruling party would be implicated.
 
If this happens, the government, which came in on the same electoral platform as ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, would be immediately dissolved.
 
Government supporters have been gathering around the court in large numbers since Sunday. A violent reaction to a negative ruling for the government is almost inevitable.
 
Anti-government protesters would give up their occupation of the country’s largest airports, having got what they have spent the last few months trying to achieve.
 
Whatever the results, many observers predict a direct confrontation between the two sides, and rumours of a coup d’etat have begun to circulate in Bangkok.
 

As the protesters continued their blockade of the city's airports, one person was killed and another 20 wounded by a bomb blast at Bangkok's Don Mueang airport early on Tuesday in the latest attack on anti-goverment demonstrators.

Date created : 2008-12-01

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