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Author
The Associated Press
Date
May 22, 2014

Key moments in Thailand’s political crisis

Thailand’s military seized power in a coup and suspended the constitution Thursday after six months of protests and a political deadlock. Some key dates in the long-running conflict since the last coup nearly eight years ago:

— Sept. 19, 2006: The army topples Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a bloodless coup following months of protests alleging corruption, abuse of power and disrespect for the monarchy.

— December 2007: A pro-Thaksin political party easily wins elections and later names Samak Sundaravej as prime minister.

— August 2008: Thaksin opponents, known as the Yellow Shirts, take over the prime minister’s office compound and stay for three months. They later take over Bangkok’s two airports for a week, halting air travel.

— September: Samak is removed from office after a court rules payment for an appearance on a TV cooking show constituted conflict of interest. Parliament selects Somchai Wongsawat — Thaksin’s brother-in-law — as his successor.

— October: The Supreme Court sentences the self-exiled Thaksin to two years in prison for corruption.

— December: Protests end after a court finds Somchai’s party guilty of electoral fraud and dissolves it. With the backing of the military, opposition Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva is chosen prime minister.

— March 2010: Pro-Thaksin Red Shirts aiming to drive out Abhisit start street protests that clog central Bangkok. The military storms their camp two months later; more than 90 people, mostly protesters, are killed and 1,800 wounded in the crackdown and earlier clashes.

— July 3, 2011: The Thaksin-backed Pheu Thai party wins election by a landslide, and his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, later becomes prime minister.

— Nov. 1: The lower house of Parliament passes an amnesty bill that could allow Thaksin to return from exile. Public anger builds, though the bill dies.

— Nov. 26: Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban demands that the government be dissolved and an unelected “people’s council” be established to make reforms to eliminate all vestiges of Thaksin’s political power.

— Dec. 9: Yingluck announces she will dissolve the lower house of Parliament, calling early elections in an attempt to calm the crisis.

— Feb. 2, 2014: National elections are disrupted by protesters and are later ruled invalid under the constitution.

— May 7: The Constitutional Court ousts Yingluck for nepotism and removes nine Cabinet members for complicity.

— May 20: Military declares martial law, saying it needed to restore order.

— May 21: Military summons political rivals to meet face-to-face, though the talks appear to produce no results.

— May 22: Military seizes power in a coup, suspends the constitution and announces a curfew.

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