Although the pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai Party was favored to win Thailand's parliamentary elections in July, the party's 53% majority gave it a mandate that was stronger than expected. However, two months into her administration, the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was challenged by Thailand's worst floods in half a century. The crisis initially exacerbated the partisan political divide and gave a new twist to the urban-rural tensions that fueled Thailand's five-year political crisis.
In the first half of 2010, political tensions in Thailand rose steadily until they literally burst into flames as anti-government protesters set a commercial district on fire in response to the government's crackdown to reclaim the area. The country's other internal conflict, communal violence in the Muslim-majority provinces of the South, was all but ignored in the broader political emergency.