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Activist judiciary axes third prime minister in Thailand

Published on May 9, 2014 10:07 PM

Enraged pro-government red shirts, in their strongholds in Thailand's north and north-east, burned coffins symbolising Constitutional Court judges on Friday, after the court disqualified Ms Yingluck Shinawatra as Prime Minister on Wednesday.

The Thai judiciary has come under increasing scrutiny since 2006, when the courts annulled the April 2 election that the opposition Democrat Party had boycotted. Five months later, a military coup ousted then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on grounds of corruption and disrespecting the monarchy.

In May 2007, the Constitutional Court dissolved Thaksin's party, Thai Rak Thai, for electoral fraud during the 2006 election.

The People Power Party (PPP), which succeeded Thai Rak Thai, also did not last long. The first PPP prime minister, the truculent Samak Sundaravej, was disqualified for receiving a small payment as expenses for taking part in a television cooking show.

A boy peers from inside a truck used as a stage for anti-government protesters outside the parliament building in Bangkok on May 9, 2014. Thai police fired teargas on Friday at royalist protesters bent on bringing down a caretaker government after a court threw Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra out of office and an anti-graft agency indicted her for negligence. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
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