Military leaders in Thailand say they have overthrown the country’s Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra… Parliament and the constitution have been suspended.
…in a broadcast on all Thai television channels, the leadership of the armed forces said it had taken control of Bangkok, declared nationwide martial law and ordered all troops to return to their bases.
“We ask for the co-operation of the public and ask your pardon for the inconvenience,” the announcement said. [BBC]
Yeah, that’s the thing about coups. They are so inconvenient.
Elections are (had been) scheduled for October. The last elections were boycotted by all the opposition, and subsequently annulled by the Constitutional Court. Thaksin has been on and off about whether he would accept demands from the opposition–and even from within his own party–that he retire from active politics. In other words, political instability has been in the air for a while in Thailand. Still, it has been fifteen years since the last coup attempt (in a country where coups and attempted coups previously had been common). And, once again, the king–who has already shown his skills not only as mediator, but also as political analyst–may be called upon again to be the arbiter.