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Yearbook 2011

2011 ThailandThailand. Since the parliament adopted in February a couple of constitutional amendments on changed rules for the distribution of seats in elections, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva promised to announce new elections until later this year, provided no new unrest erupted.

After a tumultuous 2010 "red shirts", supporters of the deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, gathered once a month in Bangkok to demonstrate against the government. The meetings gathered at least 30,000 people each time but in quiet forms.

According to Countryaah official site, Pheu Thai (For the Thais), the latest in the line of Thaks-entrapped parties, nominated his younger sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, in May for his nomination for the prime ministerial post ahead of the upcoming election, which is announced until July 3. Shortly before the election, Army Chief General Prayut Chan-O-Cha appeared in state television and urged the Thais to vote "right". If they voted as they usually "the result would only be the same", the general said in an obvious threat of a military intervention if the "wrong" party won.

2011 Thailand

But the election resulted in a grand victory for Pheu Thai, which received 265 of the 500 seats. The military accepted the result, but in order to reduce the risk of criticism, the new prime minister formed a coalition with four small parties. The government was now supported by a total of 299 members. On August 8, Yingluck Shinawatra, a 44-year-old businesswoman with no prior political experience, was able to take office after the king had approved the will of the people. Several leaders for the red shirts were elected to Parliament on Pheu Thai's lists but none of them were included in the government. Army commander Prayut had to keep his post. The new head of government obviously did not want to challenge the establishment.

The government was put to the test in the autumn when extreme floods hit the country for several months. Through dams and diversions of the water bodies, the central parts of Bangkok managed reasonably well, but over 500 people perished around the country and great material values were wasted in the country's worst floods in at least 50 years. All forecasts for economic growth and production had to be written down sharply.

In southern Thailand, the separatist violence intensified with a large number of explosive attacks and fire attacks. The state of emergency in most of the three southernmost, Muslim-dominated provinces was extended by three months at a time throughout the year.

Also, at the border with Cambodia, strife flared up, first in February and then in April-May, in a contentious area around the Preah Vihear temple. At least 18 soldiers were killed and 85,000 civilians fled. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, which already granted Cambodia the right to the temple in 1962, ordered both sides to withdraw their allies in July, but not until the end of December did the countries agree to set up a working group to prepare a mutual retreat under Indonesian law supervision.

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