FYI.... PAD=People's Alliance for Democracy
BANGKOK, Thailand - Thailand's prime minister resigned on Tuesday after weeks of protests that paralyzed his government and closed the capital's airports. Cargo flights resumed and protesters promised to lift their siege by Wednesday.
The resignation of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat came after the nation's Constitutional Court dissolved Thailand's top three ruling parties for electoral fraud and banned him from politics for five years.
Somchai, who has been forced to govern from the northern city of Chiang Mai since Wednesday, accepted the ruling with equanimity.
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"It is not a problem. I was not working for myself. Now I will be a full-time citizen," he told reporters in Chiang Mai.
Protest leaders said the airport seizures, which stranded 300,000 foreign travelers, would end Wednesday.
With the waning of the political crisis, the official in charge of Thailand's airports said Suvarnabhumi international airport will resume operations on Friday.
"Please have confidence in us," said Vudhibhandhu Vichairatana, the chairman of the Airports of Thailand.
He said the flights will be a birthday gift for Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who turns 81 on Dec. 5. The airport reopened to cargo flights Tuesday.
But Tuesday's court ruling raised fears of retaliatory violence by supporters of the government, which could sink the country deeper into crisis.
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