BANGKOK (AFP) – Authorities held a multi-faith exorcism in parliament today to drive out evil spirits believed to be responsible for a recent spate of deaths among members of parliament. Since elections in November 1996, eight of the 393 MPs have died in accidents or of natural causes while 11 more have resigned. Yesterday, an MP from the ruling Democrats was seriously injured in a car crash. In December, a Democrat MP was shot several times by an assailant and remains in a wheelchair. Several weeks ago another MP died of cancer. The Buddhist, Brahman, Christian, and Islamic rites were held one after another at the parliament building in central Bangkok. Nine senior monks from around the country were invited to perform the Buddhist rites. They were followed by a Christian priest, a Brahman holy man and an Islamic cleric. “These religious rites are good for everyone as we have organized them for every religion,” said Suchart Chamnarnsilp, an MP from Thailand’s northeastern Udon Thani province and a member of the ruling coalition. Suchart explained that the bad spirits had been attracted by the lies and the often vulgar language used by lawmakers in debates.
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