Thailand coup d'état - 19 September 2006

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The 2006 Thailand coup d'état took place on Tuesday 19 September 2006, when
the Royal Thai Army staged a coup against the government of caretaker Prime
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The coup, which was Thailand's first in fifteen
years, followed a year-long political crisis involving Thaksin and political
opponents and occurred less than a month before nation-wide House elections were
originally scheduled to be held. The military cancelled the upcoming elections,
suspended the Constitution, dissolved Parliament, banned protests and all
political activities, suppressed and censored the media, declared martial law,
and arrested Cabinet members.
The coup was bloodless, with no casualties reported. International reactions
ranged from criticism by countries such as Australia to expressions of
neutrality from countries such as China. The United States, which considers
Thailand a major non-NATO ally, said it was "disappointed," and that the coup
had "no justification."
The new rulers lead by general Sonthi Boonyaratglin and organised in a
Council for Democratic Reform (CDR), issued a statement on 21 September setting
out their reasons for taking power and giving a commitment to restore democratic
government within one year. However, the CDR also announced that after elections
and the establishment of a democratic government, the council would be
transformed into a permanent Council of National Security whose future role in
Thai politics was not explained. The junta later drafted an interim charter and
appointed retired General Surayud Chulanont as Premier. Martial law was lifted
in 41 of Thailand's 76 provinces on 26 January 2007 but remained in place in
another 35 provinces

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