Court Boots Thai PM Over Cooking Show

Samak forced to resign as protests continue in Bangkok
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2008 6:19 AM CDT
Anti-government protesters cheer outside Government House in Bangkok, on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008 after Thailand's Constitutional Court has ruled that Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej must resign.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Thailand's supreme court has ruled that the prime minister and his government must resign, declaring that his participation in a TV cooking show violated the constitution. The unanimous ruling comes as opponents of Samak Sundaravej continue to occupy Government House in Bangkok, reports the AP. While Samak may seek a new mandate, he might use the court's ruling to make a graceful exit from the political crisis that has gripped Thailand for months.

Samak hosted a cooking show for 7 years before becoming Thailand's leader. But he also made appearances on the show after his election, for which he received compensation—violating the constitution's prohibition on private employment for ministers. A party deputy insisted that "Samak still has legitimacy. The party still hopes to vote him back unless he says no."