Timeline of a political crisis

Since the Sept. 2006 coup which ousted Thaksin Shinawatra from the prime minister’s post, Thailand has had one transitional military regime and three heads of state as the political crisis in the Southeast Asian nation deteriorated.


Sept. 19, 2006: Military coup against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was elected in Jan. 2001. Thaksin flies into exile in London.


Dec. 23, 2007: After a 13-month transitional military regime, Thaksin’s PPP (People Power Party) wins legislative elections. PPP chief Samak Sundaravej becomes prime minister.


Aug. 26, 2008: The start of a long period of instability. Around 35,000 supporters of the opposition PAD (People's Alliance for Democracy) dubbed “yellow shirts” take to the streets demanding Samak’s resignation.


Sept. 2, 2008: Thai authorities declare a state of emergency in Bangkok.


Sept. 17, 2008: Thaksin’s brother-in-law, Somchai Wongsawat (PPP), becomes prime minister. He replaces Samak, who was found guilty of violating the Thai Constitution by the country’s Constitutional Court.


Oct. 7, 2008: Violence breaks out between police and pro-PAD demonstrators. The army is deployed in Bangkok.


Nov. 25 – Dec. 3, 2008: PAD supporters block two Bangkok airports where a state of emergency is declared.


Dec. 2, 2008: Thailand’s Constitutional Court disbands the PPP and bans Somchai from politics for five years.


Dec. 13, 2008: Thaksin supporters – or “red shirts” – take to the streets. For the first time, about 35,000 “red shirts” demonstrate in Bangkok.


Dec. 15, 2008: Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva becomes third prime minister in as many months.


Dec. 28-30, 2008: “Red shirts” succeed “yellow shirts” on Bangkok’s streets. Thousands of Thaksin supporters blockade Government House, preventing Abhisit from delivering his general policy speech before parliament.


April 8, 2009: Following two rounds of demonstrations in Bangkok since the start of 2009, “red shirts” put up a concerted show of force. Tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators head for the capital demanding Abhisit’s ouster.


April 11, 2009: “Red shirts” succeed in annulling the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asia) summit in the Thai resort town of Pattaya after demonstrators succeed in storming the summit venue and 15 visiting heads of state are evacuated by helicopter.


April 12, 2009: Abhisit declares a state of emergency in Bangkok.




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