[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Thailand [official website] on Tuesday agreed to consider a petition to impeach Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official profile] on suspicion that he illegally held shares in the Shin Corporation [corporate website], a telecommunications giant that he founded. The court secretary-general said that a decision will be made Thursday on whether to accept the case. The petition alleges that although Thaksin no longer owns shares in the company, he remains a de facto owner and has introduced policies which benefit the corporation. If the court finds that he was still a shareholder when his relatives sold 49.6 percent of the shares to a Singapore investment company, Thaksin would have to step down for violating the constitution [PDF text].
This is the latest setback for Thaksin, whose plans for a constitutional referendum [JURIST report] were defeated earlier [Thai News Agency report] Tuesday. Since easily winning re-election last year, Thaksin's popularity has waned, especially among the middle class, after the sale of the shares. Reuters has more.