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Flag of Thailand
  1. Thailand Main Page
  2. A Military Coup and Government Failure
  3. Economic Collapse and Subsequent Growth
  4. The Violent Drug Trade and Insurgency; A Tsunami Devastates
  5. Fallout from a Corrupt Government
  6. A New Constitution and the End of Military Rule
  7. The People's Alliance for Democracy and Protesting Status Quo
  8. Anti-Government Protests Continue and Turn Deadly
  9. Party Backed by Thaksin Shinawatra Sweeps Elections
  10. Peace Talks Proceed Despite Continued Violence
Peace Talks Proceed Despite Continued Violence

In Feb. 2013, the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra agreed to peace talks with leaders of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), one of the oldest and most formidable rebel insurgent groups operating in the country's south. The provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat are home to ethnic Malays and form a Muslim majority. Resistance to Buddhist rule turned violent in 2004; since then more than 5,400 people have been killed.

In early November 2013, Thailand's lower house passed a bill granting amnesty to those accused of offenses committed after the coup of 2006, during which Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted by the military. Thaksin, facing charges of corruption and abuse of power, would be covered by the amnesty law. More than 10,000 demonstrators took to the streets to protest the bill's passage. The bill, however, failed to pass the Senate. Anti-government protests continued into December, with thousands of people taking to the streets to demand the resignation of Yingluck Shinawatra, who they say is a puppet of her brother, former prime minister Thaksin. On Dec. 9, Yingluck dissolved parliament and called for early elections, scheduled for February 2014. The opposition, which largely represents the urban middle class, feels the rural majority has accumulated too much power and elections would not solve the problem. Instead, it demanded that parliament be replaced with an unelected People's Council and that the king appoint a prime minister.

Despite ongoing protests, elections were held on Feb. 2, 2014. The opposition, which boycotted the vote, disrupted the election by preventing the delivery of ballot boxes to about 11% of the precincts. Under Thailand's constitution, 95% of parliament must be seated in order for a government to be formed. Therefore election results will not be final until elections are held in the affected precincts in April.

See also Encyclopedia: Thailand .
U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Thailand
National Statistical Office www.nso.go.th/eng/index.htm .

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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