BANGKOK (AFP) - Violent demonstrations, multiple coups and a cryptic election eve message from the King.
Thailand's unpredictable political history has few rivals.
Here is a brief look at two turbulent decades in Thai politics.
2001 - Policeman-turned-billionaire telecoms magnate Thaksin Shinawatra wins at the polls promising social welfare schemes.
2003 - A brutal war on drugs kills upwards of 2,500 people. A year later, a crackdown in the Muslim-majority Deep South sparks a renewed insurgency.
2005 - Thaksin repeats electoral triumph, heading up the first civilian administration to complete a four-year term in a history rattled by army takeovers.
2006 - While at the United Nations in New York, Thaksin is toppled in bloodless coup. A period of protests and violent clashes ensues and historians dub the prolonged instability the "Lost Decade".
YELLOW AND RED
2008 - Thaksin is convicted in absentia on corruption charges that he says are politically motivated, and flees into self-exile.
Anti-Thaksin protesters known as "Yellow Shirts" storm Bangkok's airports, shutting them down for over a week to protest against the installation of a Thaksin ally as premier - who is soon removed.
Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva becomes prime minister after a parliamentary vote.
2009 - Pro-Thaksin "Red Shirts" storm a regional summit hosted by Thailand demanding elections and forcing participants to flee by helicopter and boat.
2010 - More than 90 people are killed as the army - led by current junta leader Prayut Chan-o-Cha - opens fire on Red Shirts protesting in downtown Bangkok.
2011 - Fresh elections in 2011 see Thaksin's younger sister Yingluck emerge as Thailand's first female prime minister.
JUNTA DELAYS, HOLDS VOTE
2016 - Junta leader Prayut oversees a crackdown on dissent and wins a referendum to change the Constitution.
Thailand mourns the death of revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was seen as a figure of unity over a seven-decade reign.
2017 - Yingluck flees the country to avoid negligence charges and joins her brother in self-exile.
2018 - Junta announces elections for the next year after repeated delays, lifting hopes as new parties emerge.
March 23, 2019 - On the eve of the vote, the king sends another message to Thai citizens, urging them to support "good people" and not those who create "chaos".