4 Dec 2008

Flights resume from Bangkok

9:42 pm on 4 December 2008

Bangkok's two airports have begun to operate flights, although officials say a full schedule will not resume for another day.

Suvarnabhumi airport was taking in a limited number of international flights and flights are leaving for Australia and Europe on Thursday.

Anti-government People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) blockaded the international and domestic airports in Bangkok for eight days, stranding more than 300,000 travellers.

About 250 New Zealanders are still thought to be stranded in Thailand.

A halt was called to the blockade on Wednesday after a court ruling on Tuesday that deposed the prime minister and banned the three ruling parties due to charges of electoral fraud.

People from both sides of Thailand's bitter political divide are licking their wounds after the gruelling protests of the past six months.

The government is looking for a new prime minister after Somchai Wongsawat was banned from politics on Tuesday.

Under the constitution, most MPs can keep their seats under another party name, and all six parties in Thailand's ruling coalition on Tuesday vowed to stick together and form a new government.

That person is likely to come from the popular parties so despised by the PAD. It accuses Mr Somchai of being a pawn for his brother-in-law, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a coup in 2006.

Later on Thursday, the King of Thailand will give his annual speech