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  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 2011 Elections
  10. Elections Held Despite Anti-Government Protests
  11. Military Stages a Coup
A Military Coup and Government Failure

Three years of civilian government ended with a military coup on Oct. 6, 1976. Political parties, banned after the coup, gained limited freedom in 1980. The same year, the national assembly elected Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda as prime minister. Prem continued as prime minister following the 1983 and 1986 elections.

Fleeing from Laos, Vietnam, and the murderous regime of Cambodia's Pol Pot, refugees flooded into Thailand in 1978 and 1979. Despite efforts by the United States and other Western countries to resettle them, a total of 130,000 Laotians and Vietnamese were living in camps along the Cambodian border in mid-1980.

On April 3, 1981, a military coup against the Prem government failed. Another coup attempt on Sept. 9, 1985, was crushed by loyal troops after ten hours of fighting in Bangkok. In Feb. 1991, yet another coup yielded another junta, which declared a state of emergency and abolished the constitution. A scandal over a land-reform program caused the fall of the government in May 1995. A succession of governments followed.

Next: Economic Collapse and Subsequent Growth
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