Tue, September 09, 2008
World > Asia-Pacific

Thai PM convicted by constitution court, losing premiership

2008-09-09 09:53:26 GMT2008-09-09 17:53:26 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

The TV grab taken on Aug. 26, 2008 shows Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej giving an emergency statement in Bangkok, Thailand. Samak Sundaravej gave ultimatum in the statement to anti-government protestors led by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) who intruded Tuesday into many key establishments in the capital including the Government House, warning them to retreat or face counteractions by police. (Xinhua file photo)

BANGKOK, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Constitution Court of Thailand on Tuesday ruled Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej violated the charter by hosting cooking shows on TV programs after he took the premiership in January. The ruling means Samak's premiership will be ended.

The court voted unanimously to give a guilty verdict against Samak and disqualified him as the prime minister.

In the one-hour open ruling, the court said all the nine judges considered Samak has broken the article 182 of the Constitution which prohibits prime minister or minister to be employee of any profiting company.

The court reasoned that the Constitution was aimed to prevent conflicts of interest on part of Cabinet members so Samak had violated in the intention of the charter although he host the programs on part-time basis.

The entire Cabinet also lost its status but other Cabinet members became caretaker ministers until new Cabinet is found, the court ruled.

Samak is the first premier whose status was revoked by court in Thai history.

A source from the People Power Party which is led by Samak told Xinhua after the ruling that the deputy prime minister Somchai Wongsawat will take the post of acting prime minister of the caretaker cabinet.

The source said the parliament will open a special session on Wednesday to elect a new prime minister while the People Power Party has decided to support Samak to be the new prime minister again in the voting since Article 182 of the Constitution does not ban the breaker to be elected as the same post.

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