Cooking Show Could Cost Thai PM His Job

Ruling tomorrow on Samak's TV work could ease unrest
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2008 3:26 PM CDT
Two anti-government demonstrators dance during the demonstration at government house in Bangkok today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Thailand’s prime minister could be forced from his post tomorrow, the Guardian reports—not by protesters who have taken over government offices, but by a court ruling that hosting a TV cooking show was unconstitutional. Samak Sundaravej, 73, hosted Tasting, Grumbling, for years before being elected, appeared a handful of times since taking office in January—possibly violating laws on public officials working for private money.

Samak says he received compensation for hosting the show, but was not salaried and therefore not an employee of the TV company. And with Samak seen as an unpopular figurehead, one opposition lawyer says, “if the court rules that prime minister Samak is disqualified from holding office, then the political crisis could automatically cease.”