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updated: 5/22/2014 9:58 AM

Key moments in Thailand's political crisis

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  • Thailand's army chief announced a military takeover of the government Thursday, saying the coup was necessary to restore stability and order after six months of political deadlock and turmoil.

      Thailand's army chief announced a military takeover of the government Thursday, saying the coup was necessary to restore stability and order after six months of political deadlock and turmoil.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

Thailand's military seized power in a coup and suspended the constitution Thursday after six months of protests and a political deadlock. Some key dates in the long-running conflict since the last coup nearly eight years ago:

• Sept. 19, 2006: The army topples Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a bloodless coup following months of protests alleging corruption, abuse of power and disrespect for the monarchy.

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• December 2007: A pro-Thaksin political party easily wins elections and later names Samak Sundaravej as prime minister.

• August 2008: Thaksin opponents, known as the Yellow Shirts, take over the prime minister's office compound and stay for three months. They later take over Bangkok's two airports for a week, halting air travel.

• September: Samak is removed from office after a court rules payment for an appearance on a TV cooking show constituted conflict of interest. Parliament selects Somchai Wongsawat -- Thaksin's brother-in-law -- as his successor.

• October: The Supreme Court sentences the self-exiled Thaksin to two years in prison for corruption.

• December: Protests end after a court finds Somchai's party guilty of electoral fraud and dissolves it. With the backing of the military, opposition Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva is chosen prime minister.

• March 2010: Pro-Thaksin Red Shirts aiming to drive out Abhisit start street protests that clog central Bangkok. The military storms their camp two months later; more than 90 people, mostly protesters, are killed and 1,800 wounded in the crackdown and earlier clashes.

• July 3, 2011: The Thaksin-backed Pheu Thai party wins election by a landslide, and his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, later becomes prime minister.

• Nov. 1: The lower house of Parliament passes an amnesty bill that could allow Thaksin to return from exile. Public anger builds, though the bill dies.

• Nov. 26: Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban demands that the government be dissolved and an unelected "people's council" be established to make reforms to eliminate all vestiges of Thaksin's political power.

• Dec. 9: Yingluck announces she will dissolve the lower house of Parliament, calling early elections in an attempt to calm the crisis.

• Feb. 2, 2014: National elections are disrupted by protesters and are later ruled invalid under the constitution.

• May 7: The Constitutional Court ousts Yingluck for nepotism and removes nine Cabinet members for complicity.

• May 20: Military declares martial law, saying it needed to restore order.

• May 21: Military summons political rivals to meet face-to-face, though the talks appear to produce no results.

• May 22: Military seizes power in a coup, suspends the constitution and announces a curfew.

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