Friday, February 24, 2006

Early elections called in Thailand

CBS News | Early Election Set in Thailand:

Thailand's prime minister dissolved parliament and called for early elections today.

'I have decided to dissolve the parliament,' Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra told reporters after meeting with the country's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej and winning the monarch's consent for elections. The ballot for a new National Assembly will be held on April 2, according to a royal decree released late Friday.

This is significant because Thaksin has been a major hardline foe of the Muslim insurgency in Thailand's three Southern provinces.He has come under fire for allegedly mishandling the insurgency where more than 1,100 have died over the past two years.

Part of the opposition to his leadership comes from the press which feels that he has unduly restricted them. He is also accused of corruption and of allowing his business and political cronies to reap enormous gains from his policies.

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