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Samak survives no-confidence vote
Thai PM rejects allegations of compromising national sovereignty and mismanagement.
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2008 05:33 GMT

Samak's six-party coalition controls two-thirds of the lower house [AFP]

The Thai prime minister has survived a no-confidence motion in parliament despite being accused of performing poorly since taking office four months ago.

The opposition motion against Samak Sundaravej was rejected by 280, or more than half of the 470 legislators in the lower house of parliament, on Friday.

The vote follows a week-long debate during which opposition MPs accused Samak of incompetence, mismanagement and yielding national sovereignty.

Chai Chidchob, speaker of the lower house, in announcing the results, said Samak "can continue his premiership".

Chai said 162 of the 442 attending legislators voted against the prime minister, who fended off criticisms despite weeks of street protests calling for the government to resign.

But the results come as no surprise because Samak's six-party coalition led by his People's Power party commands a healthy majority in the Thai parliament's lower house.

The house will also vote on seven other cabinet members later on Friday.

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Ancient temple in dispute

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Critics have blamed Samak for Cambodia's move to apply for a Unesco listing of a temple that sits on the border with Thailand, an ancient ruin which many Thais still claim as theirs although it was awarded to Cambodia by the International Court of Justice in 1962.

Opponents also accused him of being a proxy to Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister who was ousted in a military coup in late 2006.

He has denied all the allegations.

The Bangkok-based People's Alliance for Democracy has staged weeks of street protests to press the government to resign.

The number of protesters has dwindled from the tens of thousands weeks earlier, but Samak's critics say they will not be satisfied until the entire government steps down.

 

Source:
Agencies
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