February 1991 Army Commander General Suchinda Kraprayoon overthrows the Chatichai Choonhavan-led government. The general accuses the administration of corruption, harassment of honest civil servants by venal politicians, making persistent efforts to destroy military unity and attempting to create parliamentary dictatorship. Anand Panyarachun is installed as prime minister of the interim government. It forms a National Peace Keeping Council (NPKC) and promises to hold elections in six months. Suchinda promises he will not accept the post of prime minister.
August 1991 The NPKC silences prominent critics of the government, among them Professor Sulak Sivaraksa, who is charged with the crime of violating the majesty for a speech he gives criticizing the military and the monarchy.
November 1991 The military rewrites sections of the constitution to give itself a permanent power base. Mass demonstrations take place in Bangkok throughout November and December protesting the changes that allow the NPKC to appoint an upper house of the Parliament and an unelected prime minister to be designated by the Parliament.
April 1992 Suchinda is appointed prime minister despite his earlier promise not to accept the post. Tens of thousands of demonstrators take to the streets voicing their demand for Suchinda's resignation.
With no significant progress on negotiations, demonstrations continue in May, when civilians clash with the police government and call for Suchinda to resign. In three days of clashes with troops, 52 people are reportedly killed and over 3,000 injured.
May 24, 1992 Suchinda resigns and Deputy Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun takes office for a transitional period until the elections are held.
September 1992 to May 1995 Chuan Leekpai serves as prime minister until a land scandal erupts concerning his minister of Transportation and Communications, Suthep Thaugsuban, Suthep is accused by the Anti-Corruption Commission of brokering illegal lands and is associated with abuse of funds in setting up a cooperative in Southern Thailand. This corruption scandal undercuts the credibility of Chuan's party to contest in parliamentary elections, resulting in his team splitting and the government collapsing.
1995 After the government collapses, Banharn Silpa-archa of the Thai Nation Party (Phak Chat Thai) is elected prime minister.
1996 During general elections, almost one-third of the population is offered money for their votes, according to research conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology on Management in Asia. The average sum offered is 554 baht (US$17.62) in rural areas and 1,142 baht (US$36.32) in Bangkok.
November 18, 1996 Banharn resigns after accusations of corruption. Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, former defense minister, leads the New Aspiration Party (Phak Khwam Wang Mai) to victory in elections and recruits five other parties to form a coalition government. The government lasts until the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997.
July 1997 Loss of faith in the Thai baht sparks the Asian Financial Crisis; massive currency speculation, a slow response by the Thai government and Thailand's extensive foreign debt are contributing causes. The Thai baht, which had been pegged to the U.S. dollar, is floated and loses half its value within months, with sweeping economic consequences. The crisis of faith spreads to many Asian currencies, most notably in Indonesia and South Korea. The Thai economy and currency slowly recover over the next ten years.
July 1998 Thaksin Shinawatra, former deputy prime minister in Chavalit Yongchaiyudh's government, forms the Thais Love Thais Party (TRT-Thai Rak Thai).
August 2000 Sanan Kachornprasat, a leading member of Thailand's ruling Democrat Party (Phak Prachathipat) is found guilty of corruption. The Constitutional Court finds that he fabricated a document for a US$1.2 million loan to hide his assets. Sanan is banned from running for political office for five years. Sanan does not face imprisonment, but he has no right to appeal.
2000 A national survey finds that a third of those who have been involved in court cases have been asked to pay bribes to secure a favorable outcome. Around half of these requests come from public prosecutors.
January 2001 Thaksin Shinawatra wins the elections. His TRT party comes into power with more seats than any other party has secured in Thailand's short-lived democracy. Allegations of vote-buying force partial reruns of polls. Thaksin forms a coalition government.
March 2002 Deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh resigns from his post as head of the anticorruption agency, which is accused of abusing its powers.
August 2002 Thaksin promotes his cousin, General Chaiyasit Shinawatra, from deputy commander of the Armed Forces Development Command to deputy army chief. Chaiyasit denies allegations of cronyism.
January to March 2004 In the Southern Border province, which has been characterized by longstanding separatist violence and where 80 percent of the population is Muslim, police kill more than 100 in a wave of attacks in the attempts to maintain order. The government blames Islamic militants.
Thaksin is criticized for his management of the situation, the deaths of civilian protesters and the kidnapping of a Muslim lawyer.
October 2004 Eighty-four Muslim human rights protesters are killed at Tak Bai when the army breaks up peaceful protests against the mistreatments that took place earlier on in the year. Thaksin announces an increase in military and police activity in the southern region.
March 2005 Thaksin begins a second term as prime minister after his party wins February's elections by a landslide, securing 75 percent of the parliamentary seats.
March 2006 Thaksin's lawyer files criminal complaints against daily newspapers Manager Daily, Krungthep Tooragit, Post Today and Thai Post for the reporting of anti-government rallies. The coverage included the publication of speeches by protesters accusing the government of corruption and illegally selling national assets to foreigners.
September 19, 2006 Military leaders stage a coup while Prime Minister Thaksin is at the U.N. General Assembly. The military abolishes the constitution, dissolves Parliament and the Constitutional Court, detains several members of the government, declares martial law and appoints retired General Surayud Chulanont as interim prime minister.
The coup leaders, who call themselves the Council for National Security (CNS), promptly abolish the 1997 constitution, which had broadly protected press freedom. It is replaced with an interim charter that excludes the media provisions outlined in the old constitution. Article 293 of the 1997 constitution allows citizens and the media to investigate and review politicians' assets and ensure the National Counter Corruption Commission carries out its mandate of disclosing the findings. Newspapers also have the rights to use such findings as the basis for their articles.
The military appropriates 1.2 billion baht (US$38.2 million) of taxpayer money for expenditures related to the planning and execution of the unconstitutional coup.
Soon after the coup, members of the military appoint friends and allies to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). Members of the NLA receive fairly high salaries. The NLA approves a 34.5-percent increase in the defense budget. News sources also claim that luxurious study trips to Europe led by General Saprang Kalayanamitr cost 7 million baht (US$189,085).
September 21, 2006 The CNS calls a meeting with senior media representatives, ordering all radio stations to cancel phone-in news programs and instructing television broadcasters to stop displaying text messages sent in by viewers. The military junta has required radio stations to broadcast military-prepared news three times a day.
September 23, 2006 Military spokesman Major General Thaweep Netniyan threatens to take action against unnamed foreign correspondents and news organizations that allegedly insult the monarchy during their coverage of the coup and its aftermath. He orders the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to follow up on the charges, which could carry penalties of up to 15 years in prison.
December 2006 Thaksin's diplomatic passport is revoked by the Foreign Ministry after the government claims he is involved in political activities while in exile. Thaksin is barred from returning to Thailand. The ruling military council instructs the media to stop reporting Thaksin's lawyer's statements "because of the changing security situations."
January 2007 Martial law is lifted in more than half of the country.
March 2007 The Thai government decides to take control of iTV, Thailand's only privately owned television news station. The seizure of iTV places all six Thai broadcasters under the control of the government. iTV was once controlled by Thaksin.
April 2007 The military approves an additional 15-percent pay increase for 120 officers working for the military, in addition to the 15 percent that was granted earlier.
May 10, 2007 The military-appointed NLA passes legislation granting the government power to censor and control critical online news reports. This legislation enforces prison terms of up to five years for broadcasting "improper" content over the internet.
May 16, 2007 Overthrown Prime Minister Thaksin's TRT party is banned.
August 14, 2007 The Thailand Supreme Court issues a warrant for the arrest of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin on corruption charges. The ruling comes after Thaksin and his wife fail to appear in court in Bangkok. Thaksin was ordered to appear at the hearing to listen to charges that he abused his power while in office. He is alleged to have helped his wife buy land from a state agency at a favorable price. The prosecution indicated that it can seek Thaksin's extradition from the United Kingdom if he does not attend the next hearing.