Thailand History - Changing Rulers

Thailand History: Changing Rulers


The first parliamentary elections in accordance with the new constitution of 1997 won 2001 the telecommunications entrepreneur and billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra with his 1998 founded party Thai Rak Thai (TRT); he became prime minister of a coalition government. Key to his election success were numerous, largely populist, election promises, which he quickly kept after the election (including a debt moratorium for smallholders, development funds for rural regions, and the establishment of an affordable health system). An extensive economic stimulus plan, which included, above all, substantial public investment, resulted in significant economic growth. In addition, a structural change in the Thai economy was initiated through the privatization of state-owned companies.

In 2004 violence flared up again in the Muslim south; Martial law was declared in the four Muslim provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani and Songkhla. By the end of 2006, around 1,700 people had died there in attacks on security forces, bombings and military operations.

In the parliamentary elections on February 6, 2005, the TRT party emerged as the winner again; With 377 out of 500 seats, it secured a three-quarters majority and thus a significant increase in power for Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was confirmed in office in March 2005, as he was no longer dependent on any coalition partners. However, almost all direct mandates in the south of the country (especially in the still troubled Muslim core provinces) went to the opposition Democrat Party (DP). After sustained mass protests, especially in Bangkok against Thaksin , the u. Was accused of abuse of power, this dissolved parliament in February 2006. The new elections on April 2, 2006 were boycotted by the opposition and their supporters; nevertheless complained Thaksin won the election for his Thai Rak Thai party. On May 8, 2006, the Constitutional Court declared the controversial parliamentary elections unconstitutional and ordered new elections. In this domestic political crisis, the military carried out a bloodless coup on September 19, 2006 against Thaksin , who was currently abroad (New York), and declared him deposed; Martial law was proclaimed, the 1997 constitution was repealed, and the government, parliament and the constitutional court were dissolved. On September 22, 2006, the king recognized the military government. At the suggestion of the military rulers , King Bhumibol Aduljadeh appointed the retired general and former army chief Surayud Chulanont (* 1943) on October 1, 2006as incumbent Prime Minister; at the same time a transitional constitution came into force.

The initial approval for the Provisional Government gave way to growing disappointment in large parts of the population. The change in mood was triggered by terrorist attacks at the turn of 2006/07, the still problematic situation in the south of the country and the slow investigation into the corruption allegations against the ousted Prime Minister Thaksin , who had retreated into exile in Great Britain. His party, Thai Rak Thai, was banned on May 30, 2007 and the leading officials were banned from any political activity for five years.

The adoption of a new constitution by referendum in August 2007 paved the way for new parliamentary elections in December 2007, from which the Thaksin- affiliated PPP emerged as the strongest political force. On January 28, 2008, the parliament elected the PPP chairman Samak Sundaravej (* 1935, † 2009) as the new head of government (in office from January 29). In February 2008, Thaksin , who was charged with corruption by the judiciary, returned to Thailand. To avoid the threat of conviction, he and his family went into exile again in August 2008. Mass protests of the royalist-bourgeois People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD; »Yellow Shirts«) against the government of Samak Sundaravej lasted for months, the i.a. Thaksin was accused of political dependence escalated in August 2008 when thousands of PAD supporters occupied the government district and violent clashes with government supporters left one dead and more than 40 injured. As a result, Samak Sundaravej, confronted with demands for resignation, imposed a state of emergency on Bangkok on September 2, 2008. On September 9, 2008, he had to resign as head of government after the Constitutional Court found him guilty of violating the constitution because of an illegal sideline activity (paid participation in a TV show). On September 18, 2008, the PPP politician Somchai Wongsawat (* 1947)Prime minister. During the Prime Minister’s inaugural visit to parliament on October 7, 2008, from which the opposition DP stayed away, there were bloody clashes between the government opponents blocking the parliament building and the police. The deputy head of government then announced his resignation. With the tacit tolerance of the military and the king, the opposition movement of the PAD increased the pressure on the government: on November 24, 2008, thousands of supporters blocked parliament, then surrounded the provisional seat of government and occupied both Bangkok airports. The actions only ended when, on December 2, 2008, the Constitutional Court ordered the dissolution of the ruling PPP party for election fraud and the resignation of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat and forbade him and numerous partisans from further political activity. On December 15, 2008, Parliament elected Abhisit Vejjajiva (* 1964) , the leader of the DP, to be his successor.

As early as January 2009, the new government launched an economic stimulus program to strengthen the economy, which was suffering from the global financial crisis and the unstable political situation. In April 2009 the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva imposed a state of emergency after days of protests by Thaksin supporters organized in the United Front for Democracy and Against Dictatorship (UDD; “Red Shirts”). The UDD protesters torpedoed an ASEAN summit conference in the seaside resort of Pattaya. Abhisit Vejjajiva and several foreign leaders had to be evacuated. After a state of emergency was declared in Bangkok, violence escalated. The unrest in the Muslim southern provinces also continued. The government continued to face protests by the UDD in 2010. The government declared a state of emergency after protesters entered the parliamentary grounds. UDD supporters besieged military facilities and holed up in downtown Bangkok; the bloody clashes claimed numerous lives. Finally, the street protests of the »red shirts« were violently ended by the security forces in May 2010.

According to Youremailverifier, the parliamentary elections on July 3, 2011 were won by the PTP led by Yingluck Shinawatra , a sister of Thaksin Shinawatra , with around 53% of the vote. Yingluck Shinawatra was elected Prime Minister on August 5th, 2011 by the Thai parliament as the first woman in Thailand. At the end of May 2012, supporters of the royalist PAD blocked parliament for three days to prevent the decisive debate on a reconciliation law. With this law, the ruling PTP wanted to end the political trench warfare between “yellow shirts” and “red shirts” and issue a general amnesty for politically motivated offenses since the 2006 coup. Thousands of “red shirts” demonstrated in Bangkok in early June 2012 for fear of another coup. Government opponents occupied or besieged ministries and other official buildings in Bangkok at the end of November 2013 and demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister. The MPs of the opposition DP resigned from their seats out of solidarity with the government opponents. On 9.Yingluck Shinawatra called for the dissolution of parliament so that new elections could be scheduled for the king. The parliamentary elections on February 2, 2014, including boycotted by the DP did not go smoothly. Anti-government protesters had already prevented candidate registration in various constituencies. They blocked numerous polling stations on election day. The Constitutional Court declared the election on March 21, 2014 to be invalid because it was not possible to vote in 28 constituencies. The government initially remained in office. The internal political conflict could not be resolved. Finally, new elections were scheduled for July 20, 2014. On May 7, 2014, the Constitutional Court declared Yingluck Shinawatra for deposed because she violated the Constitution in 2011 by transferring the head of the national security authority in favor of a relative through abuse of office. His successor in the office of head of government was the previous Minister of Economic Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan (* 1948).

Thailand History - Changing Rulers