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Thai Parliament Holds Emergency Session to Debate Protests


Thailand's Parliament convened an emergency session Sunday to debate solutions to the country's spiraling political crisis.

Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej has admitted that his administration has not been able to control anti-government protesters, and he called the emergency session in the hope of finding a solution.

Hours before Parliament met, Mr. Samak said in his weekly radio address that he would not declare a state of emergency to deal with the protesters. However, he said he would not bow to their demands that he step down.

Thousands of anti-Samak protesters remain encamped inside the main government compound for a sixth day. Anti-government protesters also have disrupted air and rail services throughout Thailand.

However, an airport official on the Thai resort island of Phuket says flights have resumed there, two days after demonstrators forces the airport to close, stranding thousand of foreign tourists.

Late Saturday, Mr. Samak met with Thailand's revered king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, to brief him on the political situation. It was their second meeting in less than 24 hours.

The protesters accuse Mr. Samak of being too close to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was was ousted in a 2006 military coup and is accused of corruption.

Mr. Thaksin is in self-imposed exile in Britain. His allies, led by Mr. Samak, won parliamentary elections in December of 2007.

Mr. Samak has accused the opposition of trying to trigger another military coup. But the military has said it does not plan to overthrow the government.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, Reuters.

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