2006 Thai coup d'état
The 2006 Thai coup d'état took place on Tuesday 19 September 2006, when the Royal Thai Army staged a coup d'état against the elected caretaker government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The coup d'état, 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 nationwide House elections were 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.
The new rulers, led by General Sonthi Boonyaratglin and organised as the Council for Democratic Reform (CDR), issued a declaration 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 Council of National Security (CNS) whose future role in Thai politics was not explained. The CNS 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. Elections were held on 23 December 2007, after a military-appointed tribunal outlawed the Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party of Thaksin Shinawatra and banned TRT executives from contesting in elections for five years.