Thailand's on-off crisis


Sept 2005 –Sondhi Limthongkul, former associate of PM Thaksin Shinawatra, starts People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) street campaign to oust him.

Apr 2nd, 2006 –Thaksin wins a snap election. Court later nullifies it.

Sept –Military stages coup while Thaksin is at the UN. He flies into exile in London.

May 2007 –Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai party dissolved for breaking election law. He and 110 members banned from politics for five years.

Aug –Voters endorse military-drafted constitution, 18th in 75 years of on-off democracy.

Dec 23rd –Pro-Thaksin People Power Party (PPP) falls just short of outright majority in election.

Jan 2008 –PPP leader Samak Sundaravej elected PM.

May –PAD resumes street protests to overthrow what it says is a “Thaksin puppet government”.

July –Thaksin’s wife Potjaman gets a three-year jail term for tax fraud.

Aug –Thaksin and wife skip bail and flee to London. Thousands of PAD protesters storm Government House, Samak’s official compound, in an attempt to unseat him.

Sept –Samak declares a state of emergency after one killed and 45 hurt in clashes. Samak found guilty of violating constitution by hosting TV cooking shows (alternative paid employment). Has to quit. Thaksin brother-in-law Somchai Wongsawat elected PM by parliament.

Oct –Supreme Court sentences Thaksin to two years in absentia.

Nov –Yellow-shirted PAD protesters storm Bangkok’s main airport, halting all flights. Up to 250,000 foreign tourists stranded.

Dec –Court disbands the PPP, bans Somchai from politics for five years. Protesters agree to end airport blockade. Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva becomes third PM in as many months. About 200 red-shirted Thaksin supporters block access to parliament.

Mar 2009 –Red-shirted protesters start a blockade of Government House. On April 10th they target Asean summit in Pattaya.Summit cancelled after protesters overwhelm riot troops.

April 12th –Abhisit declares state of emergency in Bangkok. Fifty protesters force way into the interior ministry, with Abhisit inside. He escapes. Exiled Thaksin calls for a “people’s revolution”, says he will lead an uprising if there is a coup.

April 13th –Army cracks down on Bangkok protests; 77 reported injured in clashes. – (Reuters)