Thailand. 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.
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.
The Contemporary History of Thailand
Thailand’s contemporary history is the story from around 2000 to the present day. In the post- World War II era, Thailand has experienced a number of military coups, the last of which took place in 2014. Today, Thailand is under military rule.
Thailand was hit hard by a tsunami in 2004.
Thaksin Shinawatra’s growth and fall
The 2001 parliamentary election was a triumph for multi-billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra and his populist party Thai Rak Thai (“Thais love thais”), who gained a pure majority in the National Assembly. The 2005 election became a new bracket victory for Shinawatra with 377 out of 500 seats. Thus, for the first time, a Thai Prime Minister was re-elected without having to enter into a coalition with other parties.
Popularity plunged when it was announced in early 2006 that the family business Shin Corp., Thailand’s largest telecommunications company, had been sold with tax-free billion gain to Singapore for about $ 13 billion. This triggered a protracted wave of protests demanding Thaksin’s departure. The prime minister sought new legitimacy in the new elections in April, but this was boycotted by the opposition and declared invalid by the Constitutional Court. After King Bhumibol Adulyadej expressed dissatisfaction over “political turmoil”, Thaksin formally resigned but made it clear that he would not leave the political scene.
Pending new elections, he continued as head of a business ministry until he was deposed on September 19, 2006, by a bloodless coup.