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Stranded tourists leave Phuket after airport reopens

Stranded tourists leave Phuket after airport reopens
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Thousands of foreign tourists who had been stranded in Phuket have begun leaving the Thai resort after its airport reopened following its closure on Friday by anti-government protests. It was one of three airports targeted by the demonstrators.

The political turmoil gripping the country has brought both opponents and supporters of the government onto the streets.

A rally outside parliament served as a show of support for beleagured Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, as politicians held an emergency debate on the crisis inside the chamber.

He has vowed to not give in to protestors’ demands to stand down. They accuse him of being a proxy for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinwatra, who was ousted in a military coup two years ago.

Analysts have speculated he may call a snap election after Wednesday when the parliament is expected to approve a new budget.

The main focus of the protests is the prime minister’s offices in Bangkok, which have been occupied by his opponents for the past six days. They have said they will stay there until he resigns or is forced out.