While Thaksin was officially removed from power, the loyalty he had earned from the rural Thai heartland had not faded. After more than a year of military rule, elections in 2007 returned Thaksin loyalists to run the government.
The installment of Thaksin’s political allies at the country’s political apex incensed the yellow shirts, who then launched fresh street protests in 2008. In October, Thailand’s Supreme Court, which is widely believed to favor military and royal interests, sentenced Thaksin to two years in prison on corruption charges. Thaksin has lived in self-imposed exile ever since.