Protesters block Thai Parliament

June 1, 2012 at 4:09 PM
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BANGKOK, June 1 (UPI) -- A vote on bills aimed at reconciling political opponents in Thailand was postponed Friday when opposition supporters blocked entrances to Parliament.

The opposition says the actual purpose of the four bills is to pave the way for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's political comeback or for another military coup, the Bangkok Post reported. On Wednesday and Thursday, opposition members of Parliament attacked the speaker for trying to have a speedy vote on the bills.

Thailand has been going through years of political instability triggered by a 2006 military coup that ousted Thaksin. On Friday, red- and yellow-shirted protesters surrounded the Parliament building and allowed only opposition MPs to enter.

Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, who also serves as finance minister, appealed for calm and civility.

"Political stability is vital to a stable economy and I ask politicians to follow the four cardinal virtues," Kittiratt said, referring to prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.

"I don't know much about politics. For my part, I'll do my best to oversee the economy. People are now expressing their views aggressively but I want to see everyone speak slowly and nicely to each other," he added.

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