Thailand has been in a political turmoil since 2006 when the elected premier was overthrown by a military coup.
Thaksin became quite popular because of his economic policies in favour of the poorest and the rural groups (that are still the vast majority of the population). In addition he was able to deeply change the Thai politics substituting a big political party with something like a program for many small parties linked to individual figures or families.
The opposition (middle class in Bangkok, old politicians, the top brass in the military) reversed this trends stressing Thaksin’s corruption and conflict of interest but was unable to win the December 2007 general election. In December 2008 a new government was elected by the former opposition taking advantage from the disqualification of many majority MPs and some defections.
The political outlook is clouded by the bad health of the old king, a very revered and unifying figure in the country: the Crown Prince commands a very low approval rate both in the general public and in the present political and military leaders.