Thursday, April 27, 2006

Thai Judges Heed King's Appeal.

Thailand's top judges say they will meet on Friday to try to resolve the political crisis, after a rare appeal from the country's revered king. There is speculation they could nullify the results of the recent election.

In a televised speech on Tuesday, King Bhumibol Adulyadej rejected calls to intervene himself, and said it was up to the courts to solve the "mess".

Thailand has suffered weeks of turmoil, since Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra ordered a snap election on 2 April.

Mr Thaksin won the election, but the polls were boycotted by the main opposition parties, and as a result they failed to deliver a full complement of MPs, without which parliament cannot convene.

In the wake of the polls Mr Thaksin announced he would step aside, but his departure has done little to solve the problem of how to form a government.

Hence the comments by the highly revered king late on Tuesday.

"We have to find a way to solve the problem," King Bhumibol said in his televised speech.

"If you don't help to make democracy move forward, it will be the country's downfall," he told the judges, whom he had summoned to his seaside palace.

The king also criticised the 2 April poll, because so many ruling party candidates ran unopposed due to the opposition boycott.

His audience appears to have taken heed of his comments. The Supreme Court has now called an unprecedented meeting of the kingdom's top three judges to discuss the issue.

The judges will "consider all legal aspects" of carrying out the king's wishes, Jaran Pakditanakul, secretary-general of the Supreme Court, told the Associated Press. [Via BBC]

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