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Thai interim government lifts emergency rule

  • Story Highlights
  • Emergency rule imposed after clashes between pro, anti-government supporters
  • Lawmakers expected to meet Wednesday to choose a new prime minister
  • Samak Sundaravej stripped of his post for appearing on a TV cooking show
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BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- Thailand's caretaker government has lifted a state of emergency that the capital city, Bangkok, had been under since September 2.

The emergency rule was imposed after clashes between pro- and anti-government supporters left one person dead.

Acting Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat announced the repeal of emergency rule on national television Sunday, saying the order had adversely affected the country's economy -- particularly, tourism.

Lawmakers are expected to meet Wednesday to choose a new prime minister after Samak Sundaravej was stripped of his post by the country's Constitutional Court.

The court ruled that Samak violated the constitution by appearing as a paid guest on a television cooking show.

Anti-government protesters had for days tried to force Samak out of office, camping outside the government headquarters since August 26 and blocking him from entering.

They accuse him of being a proxy for his ousted predecessor, Thaksin Shinawatra.

Samak declared a state of emergency in Bangkok on September 2 after clashes between his supporters and anti-government demonstrators wounded 40 and killed one person.

The order overrode the country's constitution and allowed the army to be in charge of enforcing laws. It forbade public gatherings of more than five people and banned the media from publishing or broadcasting images that would panic the public.

The People's Alliance for Democracy, which headed the protests, contended that Samak was trying to amend the constitution so Thaksin does not have to face charges. Thaksin, who was ousted in a coup in 2006, returned to England this summer just as he was to appear in court in a corruption case.


Immediately after the constitutional court ousted Samak, his party said it would re-nominate him for the position. But it was unable to convince five other parties in the coalition to go along with the choice.

Samak's People Power Party will forward a new name to its partners Monday, according to the Thai News Agency, which is owned by a public company controlled by the government.

All About ThailandThai PoliticsProtests and DemonstrationsSamak SundaravejThaksin Shinawatra

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