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Thailand timeline 2001-2011

  • Vote on Sunday is first general election since 2007
  • Since then two prime ministers of the People's Power Party were removed, party banned
  • Parliamentary vote in 2008 put Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva in office
  • He faces Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra

(CNN) -- Thailand's general election on Sunday pitted the Democrats, led by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, against the opposition Pheu Thai party, led by Yingluck Shinawatra, youngest sister of Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a bloodless coup in 2006.

Abhisit on Sunday conceded the election, making Yingluck the country's first female premier.

Below is a timeline tracing highlights of the last 10 years, beginning when Thaksin, then a multibillionaire media tycoon, first took office. He rode to power with populist policies that gained huge support from the rural poor. But Thailand's elite feared his policies would erode their position.

Thaksin was also criticized for his brutal war on drugs, which saw summary executions, and for a heavy-handed response to violence in the Muslim-dominated south.


January 6 - Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party wins in general election

January 18 - Constitutional Court agrees to put Thaksin, who is set to become prime minister, on trial for allegedly concealing assets when he was in government in 1997. The move comes a month after his indictment by the National Countercorruption Commission, an independent body. Thaksin denied any wrongdoing in the case.

February 9 - King Bhumibol Adulyadej appoints Thaksin prime minister. He would become the country's first prime minister to serve a full-term in office.

August 3 -- In an 8-7 decision, the Constitutional Court acquits Thaksin of concealing assets, citing insufficient evidence. He avoids a ban from politics.


March 9 - Thaksin begins second term as PM after he and the TRT win landslide victories in the February elections.


January 23 - The Shinawatra family announce the sale of its controlling stake in telecom company Shin Corp. to Singapore's state-owned Temasek Holdings for a tax-free $1.9 billion.

February 24 - Thaksin dissolves parliament, calls for snap elections on April 2 amid protests and mounting criticism over his family's sale of shares in Shin Corp.

March 5 - Tens of thousands attend rally by newly formed People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) to call for Thaksin's resignation for alleged abuse of power, corruption and business conflicts of interest.

April 3 - Thaksin claims victory after snap election, which opposition parties boycotted over corruption allegations. Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai party was the only major party to participate.

Thai elections: Who's who?

May 8 - Constitutional Court rules April election invalid.

September 19 - Military seizes power in a bloodless coup following series of PAD rallies, while Thaksin is at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.


May 30 - Constitutional tribunal dissolves former ruling Thai Rak Thai party and bans 111 leading party executives from holding office for five years.

December 23 - Thaksin's allies under the People's Power Party (PPP) banner win first Thai election since 2006 coup, sending a message to the generals behind the coup that ousted Thaksin.


January 28 - Parliament chooses PPP leader Samak Sundaravej as PM-elect

February 28 - Thaksin is taken into police custody after returning from exile to Thailand.

May 25 -- The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) stages around-the-clock protests in Bangkok and become known as the "Yellow Shirts" for their clothing. They oppose a planned change to the Constitution which would protect Thaksin and followers from corruption charges.

September 9 - Constitutional court fires PM Samak Sundaravej for conflict of interest over hosting a cooking show while in office.

Thailand goes to the polls

September 17 - Lawmakers elect Thaksin's brother-in-law Somchai Wongsawat, a deputy of the People's Power Party (PPP), as prime minister.

October 21 - Thaksin is convicted of corruption over a land deal while in office and sentenced in absentia to two years imprisonment. He lives in London since fleeing the country in August and skipping a court appearance.

November 27 -- Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat declares state of emergency at Bangkok's two main airports, which were occupied by Yellow Shirt protesters. Thousands of passengers get stranded.

December 2 - Thailand's Constitutional Court dissolves the ruling PPP after finding the party committed electoral fraud in the December 2007 election.

December 15 - Parliament chooses opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva of the Democrat Party as the new prime minister, while supporters of the former PPP and Thaksin protest outside. Those protesters, known as the Red Shirts for their clothing, say Abhisit was not democratically elected.


April 13 - Two people are killed and at least 113 wounded in violence amid clashes between anti-government protesters and pro-Thaksin supporters. Thaksin says he is willing to return from exile.

November 10 - Thaksin arrives in Cambodia to begin new job as economic adviser, straining relations between the two countries.


February 26 - Thai Supreme Court finds Thaksin guilty of abuse of power and seizes $1.4 billion of his assets.

March 12 - Red Shirt protesters take to the streets of Bangkok, demanding new elections and saying Abhisit was not democratically elected.

April 7 - Abhisit declares a state of emergency in Bangkok and nearby provinces after anti-government demonstrators storm parliament.

April 12 - Thai election commission recommends dissolution of ruling party, accusing the Democrat Party of accepting an $8 million campaign donation from a private company and mishandling funds. The party vows to fight the allegations.

April 16 - Abhisit hands security operations over to the military after three Red Shirt leaders escape from a hotel surrounded by security forces

April 22 - Grenade attacks at protests kill one person and leave dozens wounded.

May 3 - Government offers to hold elections in November, if Red Shirts end protest in commercial center

May 12 - Government says it will shut off power, cut supplies and seal off the central Bangkok intersection where Red Shirt protesters have amassed. The tactic comes after demonstrators disregard an ultimatum from Abhisit to vacate the area.

May 13 - Militant anti-government faction leader Maj. Gen. Khattiya Sawasdipol is shot in the head while talking to reporters, sparking several days of clashes.

May 19 - Security forces surge into Lumpini Park in largest crackdown on protesters since demonstrations began; two people are killed.

May 25 - Thai court issues warrant for Thaksin on terrorism charges connected to the protests. Thaksin's attorney said the charges violated "logic, law and any claim of hopes for reconciliation."

June 2 - Abhisit survives no-confidence vote after accusations of excessive force against anti-government protesters during a crackdown on May 19.

November 29 - Thailand's Constitutional Court dismisses case alleging the Democrat Party had misused campaign funding. The ruling party could have been disbanded if found guilty.

December 21 - Thai Cabinet agrees to lift state of emergency implemented in April for Bangkok and three surrounding provinces.


May 9 - King Bhumibol approves Abhisit's request to dissolve the lower chamber of Parliament, paving way for new elections. Yingluck Shinawatra, younger sister of the ousted prime minister, jumps into the race as a candidate to unseat Abhisit.

July 3 - Abhisit concedes election, congratulating Yingluck as "Thailand's first female prime minister."

CNN's Melissa Hassett contributed to this report.