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The 18th Coup in Thailand on September 19, 2006

The 2006 Thai Coup took place on Tuesday 19 September 2006, when the Royal Thai Army staged a coup against the elected caretaker government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. [Wikipedia]

The coup, which was Thailand's first non-constitutional change of government in fifteen years, followed a year-long political crisis involving Thaksin, his allies and political opponents and occurred less than a month before nation-wide House elections were originally scheduled to be held.

It has been widely reported in Thailand and elsewhere that General Prem Tinsulanonda, Chairman of the Privy Council, was the mastermind of the coup.
The military cancelled the upcoming elections, abrogated the Constitution, dissolved Parliament and Constitutional Court, banned protests and all political activities, suppressed and censored the media, declared martial law nationwide, and arrested Cabinet members.
On Wednesday, 20 September 2006, General Sonthi Boonyaratglin announced in a television conference that the military had needed to seize power in order to unite the nation after months of political turmoil:
"We have seized power. The constitution, the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Cabinet and the Constitutional Court have all been dissolved. We agreed that the caretaker prime minister has caused an unprecedented rift in society, widespread corruption, nepotism, and interfered in independent agencies, crippling them so they cannot function. If the caretaker government is allowed to govern it will hurt the country. They have also repeatedly insulted the king. Thus the council needed to seize power to control the situation, to restore normalcy and to create unity as soon as possible."
From London, ousted Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra called for new snap elections in his homeland and confirmed he is bowing out of politics, urging "national reconciliation" after the coup in Bangkok. In a statement issued in London, Thaksin said he will devote himself to development and possibly charity work:

"We hope the new regime will quickly arrange a new general election and continue to uphold the principles of democracy for the future of all Thais."
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