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Protesters block polling stations in Bangkok, southern Thailand

BANGKOK, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Protesters disrupted Thailand's general election Sunday, forcing polling stations in parts of Bangkok and much of the south to close, officials said.

Protesters say they will keep demonstrating ahead of Thailand election

BANGKOK, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Anti-government demonstrators in Thailand said they will keep protesting ahead of the controversial national election on Sunday.
Thai protesters plan to shutodwn Bangkok on election day

Thai protesters plan to shutodwn Bangkok on election day

BANGKOK, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Despite a tense political environment, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has insisted that controversial general elections be held on February 2.
JC Finley
Thai protest leader assassinated

Thai protest leader assassinated

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Media reports and Twitter carried news of the death of Thai opposition leader Suthin Tharathin after he was shot at a polling center in eastern Bangkok on Sunday.
JC Finley

U.K. issues alert ahead of Thai elections

LONDON, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The British government said Thursday it was calling on its citizens in Thailand to be on alert for violent demonstrations ahead of Feb. 2 elections.
State Department expresses concern about political situation in Bangkok

State Department expresses concern about political situation in Bangkok

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of State expressed concern Tuesday after the Thai government declared a state of emergency in Bangkok in an effort to control the anti-government protest situation in the lead-up to the planned February 2 general elections.
JC Finley
Bangkok declares state of emergency

Bangkok declares state of emergency

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The Thai government declared a state of emergency in Bangkok on Wednesday in an effort to control the protest situation in the lead-up to the planned February 2 general elections.
JC Finley

Officials declare state of emergency for Bangkok, nearby provinces

BANGKOK, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Thai authorities declared a state of emergency in Bangkok and nearby provinces Tuesday as anti-government protesters blockaded parts of the capital.
Two explosions at "Bangkok Shutdown" injure 36

Two explosions at "Bangkok Shutdown" injure 36

Jan. 17 (UPI) -- 12,000 protesters were rallying in Bangkok's streets on Friday as part of a week-long protest dubbed "Bangkok Shutdown" when two explosions went off at two rally sites. One explosion injured thirty-six people and the other explosion caused only smoke.
JC Finley
Thai officials relieved 'Bangkok Shutdown' has so far been peaceful

Thai officials relieved 'Bangkok Shutdown' has so far been peaceful

Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters continued to rally in Bangkok's major intersections for a second day of the "Bangkok Shutdown."
JC Finley

Anti-government protesters clog streets, bridges in Bangkok

BANGKOK, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Thousands of protesters choked intersections, bridges and roads in Bangkok Monday in their effort to force out the government ahead of the Feb. 2 elections.

Thai opposition announces plan to shut down Bangkok

BANGKOK, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Opponents of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Tuesday called for a massive protest next week aimed at shutting down Bangkok.

One killed in shooting at Thailand protest encampment

BANGKOK, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- A drive-by shooting at the site of an anti-government protest in Bangkok Saturday left a security guard dead, protest leaders said.
Former Thai PM indicted for murder

Former Thai PM indicted for murder

Dec. 12 (UPI) --Former Thai Prime Minister and leader of the opposition Democrat Party Abhisit Vejjajiva has been indicted for murder in connection with protestor deaths in 2010.
JC Finley
Thai PM refuses to step down before elections

Thai PM refuses to step down before elections

Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced today that she would not step down from the caretaker premiership until a new cabinet has been formed.
JC Finley
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Photos
Thaksin Shinawatra
From left to right are: Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Laotian Prime Minister Boungnang Vorachith, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Malaysian Prime Minister Adbullah Ahmad Badawi, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Myanmar Prime Minister Lt.-Gen.Soe Win, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and Vietnam Prime Minister Phan Van Khai pose for the group photo before the start of ASEAN + Russia summit at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 13, 2005. (UPI Photo)
Wiki

Thaksin Shinawatra (Thai pronunciation: ; born 26 July 1949) is a Thai businessman and politician, who was Prime Minister of Thailand from 2001 to 2006, when he was overthrown in a military coup.

Thaksin founded Advanced Info Service, Thailand's most successful mobile phone operator, and became a billionaire. Thaksin entered politics in 1994 under Phalang Dharma Party, left the party along with many of its MPs in 1996, and founded the populist Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party in 1998. After a historic election victory in 2001, he became prime minister, the country's first to serve a full term. Thaksin introduced a range of policies to alleviate rural poverty; highly popular, they helped reduce poverty by half in four years. He launched the country's first universal healthcare program, the 30-baht scheme, as well as a highly popular drug suppression campaign. Thaksin embarked on a massive program of infrastructure investment, including roads, public transit, and Suvarnabhumi Airport. Nevertheless, public sector debt fell from 57% of GDP in January 2001 to 41% in September 2006. Levels of corruption were perceived to have fallen, with Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index improving from 3.2 to 3.8 between 2001 and 2005. The Thai Rak Thai party won an unprecedented landslide in the 2005 general election, which had the highest voter turnout in Thai history.

The Shinawatra government faced allegations of corruption, authoritarianism, treason, conflicts of interest, acting non-diplomatically, and muzzling of the press. Thaksin was accused of tax evasion, lèse majesté (insulting King Bhumibol, and selling assets of Thai companies to international investors. Independent bodies, including Amnesty International, criticized Thaksin's human rights record. Thaksin was also pressed charged for concealing his wealth during his premier.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Thaksin Shinawatra."
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