self-coup
n. The sudden overthrow of a government by the current leader of the country in an attempt to gain more power.

Example Citations:
President Hugo Chavez, accused by the opposition of harboring intentions of orchestrating a ‘self-coup’ and dissolving Congress and the Supreme Court, denied the charge.
—Jose Zambrano, “Politics-Venezuela: ‘There Will Be No Violence Here,’ Says Chavez,” Inter Press Service, April 14, 1999

At one point, said Leslie M. Alexander, the American Ambassador to Ecuador, the Government even discussed carrying out a “self-coup,” as President Alberto K. Fujimori of Peru did in 1992, but “there were enough level-headed people to know it is not practical.”
—Larry Rohter, “Accord in Ecuador Can’t Hide Woes,” The New York Times, March 21, 1999

Earliest Citation:
Thailand sprang a surprise in November when prime minister Thanom Kittikachorn dumped the constitution and imposed martial law. The “self-coup” brought nothing but the same old crowd of leaders.
—“It Was a Bad Year For Freedom,” Panama City News-Herald (Panama City,Florida), January 3, 1972

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