Army chief calls on Thai leader to quit

Pubblicato il 20 Ottobre 2008 - 12:00 OLTRE 6 MESI FA

da: The New York Times

Bangkok was on edge this weekend after the army chief told the prime minister on nationwide television that he must resign and the prime minister – in office for just a month – said he was too busy to step down.

The demand by the army chief, General Anupong Paochinda, came Thursday, when he blamed the government for a violent crackdown on protesters and said, “You cannot be above the pools of blood.”

His words raised worries of a military coup. But Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat brushed them aside, saying he still had a job to do, and turned his attention to Thailand’s other, simultaneous crisis, the threat of a border war with Cambodia.

Pressure has been growing in Thailand since protesters barricaded the prime minister’s office nearly two months ago, forcing the government to conduct its business in Bangkok’s former international airport.

As the demonstrations continue, the divisions in society seem to be deepening and the mood seems more confrontational and angry.

On the surface, Bangkok appears unruffled. Office workers crowd the…

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