2001: Thaksin Chinawatra is elected Prime Minister on a populist platform, promising to help the poor, particularly in rural areas.
(The Bangkok middle class loathes him personally and thinks he's the devil. That is literally the only fact you need to understand this country's stupid politics entirely. Imagine the Republican party vis a vis Barack Obama, or Bill Clinton in the nineties, and multiply by---well, actually, it's probably about the same. There's posters of Thaksin committing incest with his sister, but nobody's accused him of murdering Vince Foster or anything. Mark it equal.)
2006: Chinawatra wins reelection. The country's constitutional court throws out the election results and installs a caretaker government. The army completes a military coup while Chinawatra is out of the country.
2008: Chinawatra's party wins the first election held since the coup. The military junta declines to observe the election results and stays in power.
2010: Chinawatra's supporters stage protests in Bangkok demanding elections.
2011: Chinawatra's party wins the new elections; Chinawatra's sister takes power as PM.
2013: Chinawatra opponents begin protests of the government. Resignations of opposition MPs turn the government into a caretaker gov't. Protesters occupy several government ministry buildings.
January 13, 2014: Chinawatra opponents begin their "Shutdown Bangkok" protest, designed to obstruct traffic and commerce in the capital and interfere with polling places during the upcoming election. PM Yingluck Chinawatra is expected to be favored in the results.
In a victory for PM Yingluck Chinawatra, her (and her brother's) party wins the election, although results are not released for three weeks.
March 21: The constitutional court throws out the election results. Sound familiar?
Monday, May 19:
Tuesday, May 20:
Wednesday, May 21:
Thursday, May 22:
[not featured: easy jokes about Bangkok accompanying "City of Dreams," "(Sex and Sin) Sax and Violins," and "Love for Sale"]