(FILES) This file photo taken on July 8, 2011 shows Thailand's then-premier-in-waiting Yingluck Shinawatra speaking at a press conference at the Puea Thai Party headquarters in Bangkok. AFP PHOTO / FILES / Nicolas ASFOURI
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Thailand's prime minister was ordered by a court to step down Wednesday in a ruling that handed a victory to anti-government protesters who have staged six months of street protests -- but does little to resolve the country's political crisis.The Constitutional Court found Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of abusing her power by transferring a senior civil servant in 2011 to another position. In 2007, the Constitutional Court made a landmark ruling dissolving Thaksin's original Thai Rak Thai party for fraud in a 2006 election, and banned its executives from politics for five years.Thaksin's allies in late 2007 handily won the first post-coup election, but the Constitutional Court in 2008 kicked out two successive pro-Thaksin prime ministers.A coalition government then cobbled together by the opposition Democrat Party had to use the army to put down pro-Thaksin demonstrations in 2010 that left more than 90 people dead in street battles, but Yingluck and her Pheu Thai party won a sweeping majority in a mid-2011 general election.Yingluck's fortunes plunged when her party's lawmakers late last year used shady legislative tactics to try to ram through a law that would have given an amnesty to political offenders of the previous eight years, including Thaksin.
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