18:11 GMT +316 December 2017
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    Thai Court Clears Ruling Party of Anti-Monarchy Accusations

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    Thailand's Constitutional Court dismissed on Friday allegations by the opposition that ruling party lawmakers were plotting to overthrow the monarchy through proposed amendments to the constitution.

    Thailand's Constitutional Court dismissed on Friday allegations by the opposition that ruling party lawmakers were plotting to overthrow the monarchy through proposed amendments to the constitution.

    The Pheu Thai Party lawmakers are seeking to amend the constitution as a matter of urgency because they consider the 2007 charter as the product of the September 19, 2006, military coup.

    The court said that there was no evidence of an intention to overthrow the constitutional monarchy, but stipulated that a referendum must be held if the government wanted to draft a completely new constitution.

    Experts believe that the court’s decision has effectively eased political tensions in the country as the opposite ruling could have led to the dissolution of the ruling party and the government, reigniting violent rivalry between supporters and opponents of deposed former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, known as "red shirts" and "yellow shirts."

    Clashes between the two sides have shaken the country's stability twice since the 2006 coup.

    In 2008, Thaksin's opponents seized the prime minister's offices for three months and Bangkok's two airports for a week.

    In 2010, Thaksin's supporters held street demonstrations that turned violent and led to clashes with the military, which resulted in more than 90 deaths.

     

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