Wiki Actu en

May 31, 2007

US tuberculosis patient moved to Denver hospital

US tuberculosis patient moved to Denver hospital

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

A United States man, identified recently as 31-year-old Andrew Speaker from Fulton County, Georgia, has left Grady Memorial Hospital. Officials have confirmed that he was transported on a chartered Learjet overnight to Denver, Colorado. He is now at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, which specializes in respiratory, immune system, and allergy research and treatment.

The National Jewish Medical and Research Center was founded in 1899 to treat tuberculosis, and is today considered one of the world’s best medical research and treatment centers. It is a non-sectarian institution but received funding from B’nai B’rith until the 1950s.

Meanwhile, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the complete itinerary of the patient, who travelled to Europe while infected with extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB).

Speaker, an Atlanta-based lawyer, travelled on the following flights, according to the CDC:

Airlines Flight# Date Departing Scheduled Departure Calculated Scheduled Duration Arriving Number of Passengers Patient Seat Row Number
Air France / Delta 385 / 8517 5/12/2007 Atlanta, Georgia 8:45 PM Local 8 Hr 27 Min Paris, France 433 30
Air France 1232 5/14/2007 Paris, France 7:35 AM Local 3 Hr 11 Min Athens, Greece unknown unknown
Olympic Air 560 5/16/2007 Athens, Greece 7:25 PM Local 0 Hr 40 Min Thira Island, Greece unknown unknown
Olympic Air 655 5/21/2007 Mykonos Island, Greece 1:45 PM Local 0 Hr 40 Min Athens, Greece unknown unknown
Olympic Air 239 5/21/2007 Athens, Greece 5:30 PM Local 2 Hr 05 Min Rome, Italy unknown unknown
Czech Airlines 727 5/24/2007 Rome, Italy 8:50 AM Local 1 Hr 55 Min Prague, Czech Republic unknown unknown
Czech Airlines 0104 5/24/2007 Prague, Czech Republic 12:25 PM Local 8 Hr 25 Min Montreal, Canada 191 12

US Homeland Security has said it will launch an investigation into CDC officials’ handling of this case, which has created an international health incident. The investigation will look into whether the man should have been placed in quarantine and under guard before he had the opportunity to fly to Europe.

Speaker was put on a no-fly list and had his passport flagged. Nevertheless, he still managed to fly to Canada and then drive a car across the border into the United States. A border agent, who has since been suspended from duty, ignored a warning on his computer to put on protective gear and detain Speaker.

Speaker’s father-in-law, Bob Cooksey, is a 32-year veteran of the CDC, where he works in the CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination. In a statement issued through the CDC, Cooksey said that although he routinely works with infectious organisms including TB, he was not the cause of his son-in-law’s TB.

“As part of my job, I am regularly tested for TB. I do not have TB, nor have I ever had TB,” said Cooksey. “My son-in-law’s TB did not originate from myself or the CDC’s labs, which operate under the highest levels of biosecurity.”

CDC phone number for public inquiries


Exquisite-Modem.png
The CDC manages a toll-free phone number for public inquiries.
The public inquiry number is 1-800-CDC-INFO


Related news

Sources

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
2007 tuberculosis scare


Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Treatment of Indonesian governor in Sydney causes diplomatic stir

Treatment of Indonesian governor in Sydney causes diplomatic stir

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Map showing geographical location of Australia (orange) and Indonesia (green).
Image: David York.

Relations between Australia and Indonesia have been strained due to an incident in Sydney, New South Wales involving a visiting Indonesian governor.

Governor of Jakarta Sutiyoso claims New South Wales police entered his harbourside hotel room whilst he was taking a nap, using a master hotel key, failing to knock or announce their presence before entering.

The police were requesting that the governor give evidence at an inquest into the 1975 death of an Australian cameraman Brian Peters in the neighbouring country of East Timor. Peters was killed in crossfire, along with four fellow Australian-based newspeople, in Balibo, just prior to the Indonesian military’s invasion of East Timor. The circumstances around their death have been the centre of allegations regarding a cover-up by Indonesia and Australia, particularly from some of the families of those killed.

Sutiyoso is a retired Lieutenant General who served in the Indonesian military for three decades, and was involved in Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor.

The now-governor refused to accept the request for summons, saying “I have nothing to do with the case.”

Indonesian reaction

The Indonesian Ambassador to Australia’s office has lodged a formal protest with the New South Wales government in Sydney over the treatment of Sutiyoso, who was a guest of the New South Wales Government. The governor was in Australia’s most populous city to try and revive a possible co-operation agreement between the two neighbouring countries.

Since the incident, Sutiyoso cut short his trip, which involved an official visit to Canberra, Australia’s capital city. He has also been outspoken about his treatment, accusing those involved of acting in an exceedingly inappropriate way.

“I really feel slighted by such treatment”, Sutiyoso said. “If there is no apology, I will deem it as arrogance on their part, and do we need to continue relations with Australia?”

The incident caused a demonstration outside of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. Hundreds of protesters rallied outside the complex, demanding an explanation and apology from the Federal Government. They also threatened to find Australians living in the Indonesian capital city and force them to leave the country if an apology wasn’t given.

The Foreign Ministry of Indonesia has expressed their opinion that any findings from the Brian Peters inquest will be ignored by Indonesia, and will only serve to make the presently-weak relations between Australia and Indonesia more fragile.

Australian reaction

Foreign Minister of Australia, Alexander Downer.

The Federal Government of Australia, through Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer, has expressed that they understand Indonesia’s feelings on the matter. He also stated that Australians need to be more sensitive to Indonesia’s notion of humiliation in the future, saying that Indonesian people would see this as “an enormous humiliation for a major Indonesian figure.”

The Federal Government also expressed their view that the issue was one that needed to be handled via the New South Wales Government, as the incident involved one of the state police, and Sutiyoso was an official guest of the NSW government at the time of the event.

New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma has scheduled a meeting with Indonesian officials for early next week to discuss the issue, with the intent of easing the diplomatic tension involving Sutiyoso. Iemma expressed, however, that the police were not acting under the direction of the NSW Government, and added that “[Australia] have a system that is different to the Indonesians, where the political arm [of government] is independent from the judiciary and the police.”

According to Sutiyoso, Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Bill Farmer, has spoken to the governor about his treatment by police, and has personally apologised.

This story has new developments.

Updated information can be found here.

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Australia-Indonesia relations
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Tensions between the U.S. and Russia flare before the G8 Summit

Tensions between the U.S. and Russia flare before the G8 Summit

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A working session at the G8 Summit in Strelna, Russia, July 16, 2006.

Ahead of the G8 summit next week, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the U.S. starting an arms race and called it an “imperial power.” “We are not the initiators of this new round of the arms race,” Putin said during a joint Kremlin news conference.

On Tuesday, Russia test-fired a new missile with multiple warheads and a new cruise missile, which Russian generals say are sufficient to ensure the country’s security for the next 40 years.

President Putin defended the missile technology saying that it is: “aimed at maintaining the balance of forces in the world.”

Putin, alarmed by U.S. plans to deploy parts of its global missile defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic said: “There is a clear desire by some international players to dictate their will to everyone without adhering to international law,” Putin said. “International law has been replaced by political reasons.”

“In our opinion it is nothing different from diktat, nothing different from imperialism,” he added.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice fired back saying Russia’s fears are “ludicrous.” The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov responded to Rice’s claims by saying that “There is nothing ludicrous about it”

Putin, who has been faulted both in Russia and abroad for curtailing civic freedoms, is in his second term as President of Russia. The term will expire in 2008.

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Tanker crash kills driver, spills diesel fuel in Vermont, US

Tanker crash kills driver, spills diesel fuel in Vermont, US

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Newfane, Vermont.
Image: Andre Engels.

A tanker truck travelling Northbound on Route 30 with 2,500 gallons of diesel fuel hit a guardrail, veered off the road and overturned into the West River near Newfane, Vermont. The West River is a tributary of the Connecticut River. The driver was ejected and killed, while the truck’s tank ruptured.

The truck came to rest partially submerged in the river on its right side and immediately began leaking its payload. The driver has been identified as 30-year-old Eduard Lashway of Guilford. The vehicle was owned by local company Barrows & Fisher Oil Co. of Brattleboro.

HazMat crews and Brattleboro Fire Department divers worked with booms to try to contain the oil leaking into the river. Route 30 was also closed in both directions, and the river closed to water traffic. A total of 100 gallons of fuel leaked into the river but was ultimately contained by HazMat teams.

WMUR reached an unidentified person at Barrows & Fisher, who refused to identify the then-unknown driver and said he had no comment on the accident.

The accident is under investigation.

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Riyo Mori is crowned Miss Universe as Japanese after 48 years\’ absence

Riyo Mori is crowned Miss Universe as Japanese after 48 years’ absence

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, May 31, 2007

According to The Japan Times, the 20-year-old Japanese delegate Riyo Mori was crowned as the 56th Miss Universe, in a ceremony held at Mexico City on May 28 .

Riyo, the new Miss Universe titleholder, is from Shizuoka, Japan. She had stayed in Canada to study ballet while in high-school. After Riyo returned to her country, she became to an instructor of a dance school.

Riyo Mori achieved the brilliant feat of winning this beauty contest as Japanese after 48 years’ absence. Incidentally, preceded runner-up is Kurara Chibana.

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Man eats dog to protest animal cruelty

Man eats dog to protest animal cruelty – Wikinews, the free news source

Man eats dog to protest animal cruelty

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Image: Sannse.

In an unusual protest, British performance artist, Mark McGowan ate meatballs which were made from a Corgi, a breed of dog often kept by the Royal Family.

McGowan is protesting alleged cruelty exhibited by Prince Philip. The husband of Queen Elizabeth II is reported to have beaten to death a fox, during a fox hunt.

The event was broadcast live on a radio program hosted by Bob and Roberta Smith. Yoko Ono, widow of John Lennon, was also there and tasted some of the Corgi meatballs.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) seemed to approve of the protest: “The idea of eating a corgi will make many people lose their lunch,” said Poorva Joshipura, European director. “But foxes, who are hunted for so-called entertainment, are no less capable of feeling fear and pain.” McGowan said the corgi he consumed had died recently at a breeding farm and had not been killed for the purposes of the protest. It was minced with apple, onion and seasoning, turned into meatballs and served with salad, but McGowan said: “It’s disgusting. It’s really, really, really disgusting.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) claimed however that there was no evidence that Prince Philip had mistreated the fox or that it had suffered.

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Malaysian court rules Christian woman can\’t remove Islam from ID

Malaysian court rules Christian woman can’t remove Islam from ID

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Malaysia
Other stories from Malaysia
…More articles here
Location of Malaysia

A map showing the location of Malaysia

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Malaysia, see the Malaysia Portal
Flag of Malaysia.svg

A Malaysian Christian woman who has been fighting a six-year legal battle to have the word Islam removed from her national identification card has lost an appeal with the Malaysian Federal Court. The three-judge panel rejected the appeal in a 2-1 decision on Tuesday in Putrajaya.

Lina Joy, 42, was born Azlina Jailani to Malay parents, and was raised as a Muslim. Malaysia’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion, but by law, all ethnic Malays are Muslim.

Joy converted to Christianity at age 26, and after some bureaucratic difficulties had her named legally changed in 1999. However, on her MyKad national ID, the National Registration Department retained her stated religion as Islam. In order to have her religion changed, the National Registration Department said Joy would have to obtain a certificate of apostasy from the Muslim Sharia Court.

Cquote1.svg I am hoping that my case would have made a difference to the development of constitutional issues in the plight of many others. Cquote2.svg

—Lina Joy

But under Sharia law, Muslims are not allowed to convert, nor may they marry outside their religion. But since she is no longer a Muslim, Joy has said she should not be bound by that law.

She applied to Malaysia’s High Court in April 2001 to legally renounce her religion, but was refused, with the court saying the issue must be decided by the Sharia Court. The Court of Appeal rejected the case in September 2005.

In Tuesday’s ruling at the Palace of Justice, Justice Ahmad Fairuz and Federal Court Judge Alauddin Mohd Sheriff rejected the appeal, while Justice Richard Malanjum dissented. The hearing was the final legal step Joy could take, although her lawyer, Benjamin Dawson, said he was considering filing for a review of the judgment.

Joy received the verdict with “great sorrow”, the New Straits Times reported.

“I am disappointed that the Federal Court is not able to vindicate a simple but important fundamental right that exists in all persons; namely, the right to believe in the religion of one’s choice and equally important, the right to marry a person of one’s choice and to raise a family in the Malaysia context,” Joy was quoted in a statement from her lawyer, and published in The Star. “The Federal Court has not only denied me that right but to all Malaysians who value fundamental freedoms.

“I am hoping that my case would have made a difference to the development of constitutional issues in the plight of many others.”

Joy has since been disowned by her family, and forced to quit her job. A Muslim lawyer who supported her case received death threats. Joy went into hiding last year, and is believed to be living outside Malaysia. Now, it’s not likely she will return, The Star reported. “It would extremely difficult to exercise freedom of conscience in the present environment,” she was quoted as by the paper.

Muslim groups welcomed the verdict, while rights groups condemned it.

“It’s clearly justified and fair,” Yusri Muhd, president of The Defenders of Islam Coalition, was quoted as saying by Channel NewsAsia. “We hope that we’ve seen the last of such an attempt.”

Ivy Josiah of the Women’s Aid Organization said was “deeply disappointed” by the ruling, she said her group was encouraged by the dissenting judgment “which means there’s still light at the end of the tunnel.”

The lone dissenting justice, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjum, wrote: “To expect the appellant to apply for a certificate of apostasy – when to do so would likely expose her to a range of offenses under the Islamic law – is, in my view, unreasonable.”

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Lina Joy
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Alexander Litvinenko was British spy, claims alleged killer

Alexander Litvinenko was British spy, claims alleged killer

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The conveyor style of food delivery at an Itsu restaurant like the one Litvinenko ate at the day he was poisoned.
Image: Justin (flickr).

Andrei Lugovoi, the man who British authorities say poisoned and killed a ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko with polonium-210, a radioactive isotope, says that the British government tried to recruit him to be a spy and that Litvinenko was working as a spy for British intelligence. He also claims that the British government is connected with the murder of Litvinenko and that he “has evidence” to prove his claims, but did not state what the evidence might be.

According to Lugovoi, who spoke to reporters during a press conference in Moscow, the British government wanted him to collect personal information that related to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

“[I was] openly recruited as the British security service agent. They asked me to collect any…compromising information about [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin and the members of his family,” said Lugovoi.

Lugovoi also stated that Litvinenko and a Russian tycoon named Boris Berezovsky were also working for the British government saying “Litvinenko became an agent who left the control of (British) special services and was killed. In the words of Sasha himself, first he was recruited and afterwards, on his advice, Boris Abramovich gave to the British some security council documents [from Russia] and also became an MI6 agent.”

Lugovoi also told the press that he had no motive to commit the murder and that Litvinenko was not an enemy of his.

“Sacha [Litvinenko] was not my enemy. I didn’t feel cold or hot from whatever he was doing, from the books that he was writing. I’ve been in business for a long time and I was not really interested. [Litvinenko was killed] If not by the British intelligence services themselves, then under their control or with their connivance,” added Lugovoi.

So far, British officials denied to comment on the claims saying that the incident is a matter for the criminal system.

“This is a criminal matter and not an issue about intelligence. A request for extradition for Mr. Lugovoi to face trial in a UK court has been handed over. We await the formal Russian response,” said the Foreign Office of the U.K..

Litvinenko died on November 23, 2006, due to complications from his Polonium-210 poisoning.

Related news

  • “Murder charge to be brought in Litvinenko death” — Wikinews, May 22, 2007

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

May 30, 2007

US places man with TB under quarantine, launches search for contactees

US places man with TB under quarantine, launches search for contactees

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
Image: TheCustomOfLife.

A man infected with extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) has been placed in isolation at Grady Memorial Hospital with an armed guard at the door in Atlanta, Georgia. This marks the first time the United States government has quarantined a person in over 40 years.

The US agency for protecting public health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says that this form of tuberculosis, while rare, is “resistant to almost all drugs.”

CDC learned that a patient with XDR TB traveled to Europe via commercial airline (Air France # 385) departing Atlanta on May 12 and arriving in Paris on May 13, 2007, and returned to the United States after taking a commercial flight on May 24 from Prague, Czech Republic to Montreal, Canada (Czech Air # 0104). The patient re-entered the U.S. on May 24 via automobile. Since May 25, the patient has been hospitalized in respiratory isolation and is undergoing additional medical evaluation.
 
— CDC Press Release, May 29, 2007

CDC officials said at a press conference that they are currently seeking to contact 80 fellow passengers on the transatlantic flights. They are concentrating on them because they were exposed for a longer amount of time.

The man, who is from Fulton County, Georgia, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a phone interview, that both he and the CDC knew of his case. Further, he had been asked not to travel, but not specifically prohibited. He wanted to go to Greece for his wedding. He was then contacted by the CDC, while on his honeymoon in Rome, Italy, and asked to turn himself over to Italian health officials.

However, he decided to make his own way back to the US. “I didn’t want to put anybody at risk,” he said. “We just wanted to come home and get treatment.”

CDC phone number for public inquiries


Exquisite-Modem.png
The CDC manages a toll-free phone number for public inquiries.
The public inquiry number is 1-800-CDC-INFO


Sources

External links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Thai Rak Thai dissolved, ex-premier Thaksin banned from politics

Thai Rak Thai dissolved, ex-premier Thaksin banned from politics

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Thailand
Other stories from Thailand
…More articles here
Location of Thailand

A map showing the location of Thailand

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Thailand, see the Thailand Portal
Flag of Thailand.svg

Thailand’s former ruling party, Thai Rak Thai, was found guilty of election fraud by a Constitutional Tribunal, and ordered to be dissolved. Its former leader, ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and 110 party leaders are banned from politics for five years, the court also ruled.

Thaksin, responding to the ruling from London, told the BBC: “We have to respect the rules of the game. That is, the rule of the law. If the rules of the law are observed, we have to respect it.”

But Thaksin’s lawyer and spokesman in Bangkok, Noppadon Pattama, called the verdict “unexpected”, and told Reuters, “It’s too harsh on Thai Rak Thai.”

Earlier, the nation’s main opposition party, the Democrat Party, was acquitted of six charges of election fraud, and allowed to remain intact.

The tribunal was reviewing violations that took place during the April 2, 2006 general elections, which were declared invalid due to widespread charges of corruption and vote buying. Another election was scheduled for October 2006, but after a military-led coup on September 19, that election was never held.

Ousted prime minister and former Thai Rak Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra is banned from politics for five years.

Thai Rak Thai (literally “Thais love Thais”), was formerly headed by Thaksin, a telecommunications tycoon and ex-prime minister who was ousted in last year’s coup.

The tribunal said two party leaders, former deputy leader Thamarak Isarangura and former deputy secretary-general Pongsak Ruktapongpisal, hired two smaller parties to contest the April election on behalf of Thai Rak Thai. The two were Cabinet members at the time. The Tribunal also dissolved the two implicated smaller parties, Pattana Chart Thai and Pandin Thai, and banned their executives from politics for five years.

Thai Rak Thai lawyers countered that the party’s top leadership could not have known about Thamarak and Pongsak’s plans, but the judges dismissed that assertion.

“The Thai Rak Thai party did not respect the rule of law despite the fact that they won elections twice,” said one of the judges in his ruling. “Thai Rak Thai cannot exist as a political party, therefore the court orders to dissolve the Thai Rak Thai party.”

Thai Rak Thai acting leader Chaturon Chaisang said that the ban was “totally unexpected”, but he urged supporters to not fight the decision. “Even if we don’t agree with the ruling, I ask all Thai Rak Thai members not to protest or oppose the ruling,” he said.

The final verdict was read at 11:36 p.m. local time (1636 GMT), and came after a long, suspenseful afternoon and evening of proceedings that began at 2 p.m. The proceedings were broadcast on all of Thailand’s television channels, and local newspapers updated their coverage in real time on their websites.

In the run-up to what was called “Judgement Day” in the local media, tensions were high. Interim Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont warned that he would impose a state of emergency if there was any violence. Thousands of security officers were stationed at checkpoints across the capital, with a 15,000-strong security force at the ready in their barracks. The junta also ordered that some political websites be blocked. King Bhumibol Adulyadej made a rare televised address when he granted an audience to the court’s judges, and urged them to use care in their deliberations.

Some schools were closed out of security concerns, but there were no signs of large protests. Fewer than 200 people gathered quietly behind police barricades across the road from the court, and parties kept their supporters away from the site.

The Democrat Party faced six charges, among them accusations that it had paid off members of two smaller parties, the Progressive Democrat Party and the Better Life Party, to frame Thai Rak Thai of trying to buy their votes. But the Democrats were acquitted on all charges.

“The facts cannot prove that the Democrats did any wrongdoing so there is no reason to dissolve the Democrats,” said Thanit Kesawapitak, one of nine tribunal judges.

However, the Progressive Democratic Party was found guilty of rigging its membership records, and ordered dissolved. Furthermore, the party’s leaders are banned from politics for five years. The party was found guilty of falsifying its membership records to enable its candidates to run in three constituencies in Trang.

Democrat Party members sitting in the court room appeared to be relieved as they heard the verdict read.

At the Democrats’ headquarters, the mood was celebratory. Crowds lined the streets to the offices, and leaders were greeted with cheers and applause and given bouquets of flowers.

“Today’s victory is for people and the country,” Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva told supporters. “Today is the end of pressure on the party and the people. What I wish from is that the Council of National Security and the government holds the national election as promised and as scheduled,” he said.

The Council of National Security, the junta’s ruling body, has promised a national referendum on a new constitution, with elections by December.

The Democrat Party is Thailand’s oldest political party, founded in 1945, and has mainly been an opposition party. With Chuan Leekpai as prime minister, the Democrats led coalition governments from 1992 to 1995 and again from 1997 to 2001, when Thaksin and Thai Rak Thai were swept to power on a tide of populist sentiment. Since being ousted in last year’s coup, Thaksin has lived in self-imposed exile outside Thailand, mainly in London.

Now, with Thai Rak Thai removed from the scene, the Democrats are likely to return to power if the promised elections are held, said Michael Montesano, who teaches Thai politics at the National University of Singapore.

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Party dissolution charges in Thai politics, 2006
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress