Timeline: Thailand’s political instability

A timeline of Thailand’s political turmoil:

A spokesman said Thaksin was 'calm' and still in command


February: Thaksin Shinawatra’s Thai Rak Thai party wins 377 of the 500 seats in parliament ensuring a second landslide election victory.

September: Thaksin’s former friend, Sondhi Limthongkul, begins weekly rallies in a Bangkok park accusing the prime minister of corruption, cronyism and abuse of power after his show on state television was taken off air for criticising various parties.


January: Thaksin’s relatives sell their controlling stake in Shin Corp, the telecoms empire he founded, to Singapore state investment firm Temasek. The tax-free $1.9 billion sale angers Bangkok’s middle classes and adds momentum to Sondhi’s campaign.

February: The street protests against Thaksin’s government continue to grow and the prime minister calls a snap election on April 2, three years early and two days before the largest anti-government rally yet.

Three main opposition parties soon announce an election boycott after Thaksin rejects their demand for a neutral body to reform the constitution.

Mass protests have been common in Bangkok in 2006
Mass protests have been common in Bangkok in 2006

Mass protests have been
common in Bangkok in 2006

March: About 100,000 protesters mass at Government House and vow to continue demonstrating until Thaksin resigns.

April 2: The election is held despite the opposition boycott with Thai Rak Thai winning the majority of votes.

April 4: After a strong protest vote, Thaksin meets the revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, before announcing he will step down as soon as the next parliament meets.

April 5: Day-to-day power is transferred to the deputy prime minister, Chidchai Vanasatidya.

April 25: The king tells the judges of the three top courts to sort out the “mess”.

April 26: The three main opposition parties say they will stand in a new election if the April 2 poll is annulled.

May 8: The Constitutional Court rules that the election is unconstitutional and a new poll should be held.

May 23: Thaksin resumes day to day control of the government, saying it was time to get back work on economic and security issues.

May 30: The government sets October 15 as the date for the re-run of the annulled election.

June: Thaksin files libel suits worth $21 million against opposition Democrats and three newspapers.

The popular king is keen to endthe political turmoil
The popular king is keen to endthe political turmoil

The popular king is keen to end
the political turmoil

July 13: The Constitutional Court agrees to consider charges of electoral abuse by Thaksin’s party and the opposition Democrats. If found guilty, the parties could be disbanded.

July 20: The head of the Thai army unexpectedly re-assigns more than 100 middle-ranking officers thought to be supporters of Thaksin, adding to rumours the force is divided and of a possible coup.

July 21: The king approves October 15 as the date for an election re-run, saying he wants a swift end to the political crisis.


August: Thaksin accuses army officers of aiming to assassinate him after police find a car containing bomb-making materials close to his home.


September 19: Tanks and troops poured into the streets of Bangkok as the country’s army chief said he had seized control in a coup and ousted Thaksin.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies