Thailand's parliament rejected a move to include the armed forces in the country's government on March 16.
GV Demonstrators outside Parliament House. (2 SHOTS)
GVs & SV Security forces waiting for result of vote. (5 SHOTS)
SVs & SCUs Tear gas canisters being distributed to police. (2 SHOTS)
GV Parliament House. (Exterior)
SV PULL BACK TO GV Portrait of King Bhumiphol, Parliament in session, members casting votes. (3 SHOTS)
GV Mr. Kukrit Pramoj, leader of Social Action Party, handing flower to Speaker.
SV & GV Public celebrating outcome of vote. (3 SHOTS)
GV Riot police marching back to base.
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Background: Thailand's parliament rejected a move to include the armed forces in the country's government on March 16. The vote, which reflected general public opinion, was seen as a major setback for Army Chief Arthit Kamlang-Ek, who had personally backed the proposals. Security forces were on alert outside Parliament in Bangkon where the appointed upper Senate House and the elected House of Representatives voted in joint session. The proposed amendments were supported through the first and second readings last month by several parties which later changed their minds. The leader of the Social Action Party, Mr. Kukrit Pramoj, presented flowers to the Speaker of the House as his party members abstained from the vote. The result was seen by some members of Parliament as a successful attempt to block future dictatorship in Thailand. The publication of a document apparently setting out a dictatorial government structure based on a communist model may have influenced the vote. It was revealed by Mr. Kukrit who said its origin was unknown. The proposed amendments tot eh constitution would have extended the right of the appointed Senate, many of whom are soldiers, to influence major legislation. It also suggested that members of the armed forces could hold government office. This would have enabled Generals to become Prime Minister without a coup. General elections will be held in thailand in June this year.