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People's Alliance For Democracy Forced Closures

Phuket and Krabi airports in Thailand reopen after protesters blocked runways

eTN  Sep 02, 2008

Thai airports reopened yesterday after thousands of anti-government protesters blocked the runways at both Krabi and Phuket airports.

Supporters of the People's Alliance for Democracy forced the closures in an effort to demand that a new government be formulated with a parliament consisting of only 30 percent elected lawmakers and the rest of the lawmakers being appointed. The group said that Western-style democracy has allowed corruption to flourish.

The protesters camped outside of Government House (the government's headquarters) since Tuesday. In a show of support for the protesters, rail workers halted service on dozens of trains in other parts of Thailand.

Thailand's parliament convened an emergency session on Sunday at prime minister Samak's request. The prime minister said he would present a compromise in parliament, but protest leaders called the parliamentary session a "joke." They said they will not back down until the prime minister resigns, which he has repeatedly refused to do.

Protest organizers say that prime minister's Samak's government is corrupt and only serves as a proxy for former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin fled to Britain to escape corruption charges afer being deposed in a 2006 miliary coup.

Sunton Raksarong, a PAD leader, threatened the closure of seven more airports in southern Thailand if the government imposes emergency rule. Protesters would, once again make Phuket and Krabi airports one of their targets and would also block major roads to the south.

Phuket and Krabi airports in Thailand reopen after protesters blocked runways
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

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