Thailand’s Constitutional Court says Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej must step down because he hosted a TV cookery show while in office. His cabinet has also been ordered to quit.
The court has been hearing claims that Samak was guilty of conflict of interest over working for a commercial TV station while heading the government. Denying any wrongdoing and suggesting the case was politically motivated, he testified in his own defence.
The ruling takes 30 days to come into effect. Determined to keep their man in power, Thailand’s ruling party says it will simply renominate Samak as premier.
News of the verdict spread as a protest at his official compound in Bangkok entered its third week.
Fearful Samak will be voted back into office, demonstrators have vowed to continue their bid to bring down the government. They claim Samak is a puppet of Thaksin Shinawatra, who was removed as prime minister by the army two years ago in a coup.