Protesters Will Leave Bangkok Airports

PAD announces end to demonstrations; flights will resume soon
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2008 9:01 AM CST
People's Alliance for Democracy protesters celebrate as a court ruling brings down Thai government, at the besieged Suvarnabhumi international airport in Bangkok, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008.   (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
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(Newser) – Anti-government protesters in Thailand will end their occupation of Bangkok's two airports, allowing stranded tourists to fly home as soon as Thursday. All protests will end tomorrow, the People's Alliance for Democracy announced today, following a decision by the country's constitutional court that dissolved the leading political parties and barred the prime minister and other top politicians from holding office for 5 years.

Nearly 200 days of protests by the PAD, a loose coalition of royalists, businessmen, and the urban middle class, forced the government out of its ministries and crippled Thailand's tourism industry. They had accused PM Somchai Wongsawat's administration of corruption and disrespect for the monarchy. The PAD also claimed it was too closely aligned with Thaksin Shinawatra, the exiled former PM and brother-in-law of Somchai, who was ousted in a 2006 coup.