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Thai senior minister resigns after police clash with demonstrators

The Sydney News.Net
Tuesday 7th October, 2008

A senior government minister in Thailand has resigned after violent clashes between police and protesters.

Deputy PM Chavalit Yongchaiyudh has stood down after people were injured in a tear gas incident involving riot police.

The clashes came just hours new Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat was to deliver an inaugural speech in parliament.

The police waded in to the anti-government demonstrators who had surrounded the parliament in Bangkok.

They said they fired the teargas to disperse the protesters who were trying to block the road leading to parliament.

The protesters say Mr Somchai and his recently ousted predecessor, Samak Sundaravej, are both just proxies for former PM Thaksin Shinawatra.

Mr Thaksin, Mr Somchai's brother-in-law, was forced from office in a military coup in 2006.

The protesters had been occupying the grounds of government buildings for six weeks.

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