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Thailand PM proposes confidence referendum

[JURIST] Thai profile] refused to resign Thursday but instead proposed a national referendum on whether he should continue in office. In a radio address following an emergency Cabinet meeting, Samak encouraged the Senate to pass legislation allowing such a referendum, suggesting it could take place within a month. Samak also announced the resignation [TNA report] of Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag, who took office [Bangkok Post report] only six weeks ago. Reuters has more. AFP has additional coverage. The Bangkok Post has local coverage.

Reacting to weeks of anti-government protests, Samak imposed a state of emergency in Bangkok [press release; Bangkok Post report] on Wednesday. Members of the opposition People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) party refused to recognize the order as they demanded Samak's resignation. PAD announced plans to seek Samak's impeachment [JURIST report] in July after a series of court decisions against key officials in the government and the ruling People's Power Party (PPP). The PPP has been closely associated with former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], now on trial for corruption. Thailand's Election Commission voted Tuesday to recommended that the PPP be disbanded [JURIST report] for election fraud allegedly committed by one of its former top officers.

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