Court Ousts Thai PM

Yingluck Shinawatra found guilty of abusing power
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 7, 2014 3:06 AM CDT
Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, center, arrives at the Constitutional Court in Bangkok, Thailand.   (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
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(Newser) – Thailand's prime minister was ordered to step down today along with part of her Cabinet after a court found her guilty in an abuse of power case, pushing the country deeper into political turmoil. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was charged with abusing her authority by transferring a senior civil servant in 2011 to another position. The Constitutional Court ruled that the transfer was carried out to benefit her politically powerful family and, therefore, violated the constitution—an accusation she has denied.

"Transferring government officials must be done in accordance with moral principle," the court said in its ruling. "Transferring with a hidden agenda is not acceptable." It was not immediately clear who would become the new acting prime minister after the latest dramatic twist in Thailand's long-running political crisis. The judgment was a victory for Yingluck's opponents, who for the past six months have been engaged in vociferous and sometimes violent street protests demanding she step down to make way for an interim unelected leader. But it does little to resolve Thailand's political crisis as it leaves the country in limbo—and primed for more violence.

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