The decision by the opposition Democrat-except-when-we-cannot-win-an-election-and-then-a-coup-is-ok Party to boycott last year’s general election (because they knew they would lose) has now paid off handsomely. The final result of the electoral chaos of 2006 is that Thai Rak Thai has been dissolved by the Constitutional Tribunal and over one hundred senior party figures have been banned from political office for five years. Some are now predicting that with no effective electoral competitor the Democrat-except-when-we-cannot-win-an-election-and-then-a-coup-is-ok Party may even be able to win an election!

For detailed English language commentary on the decision the best source is Bangkok Pundit. Judge Vichai Chuenchompoonuj is quoted as arguing that Thai Rak Thai used parliamentary election as “a means to achieve totalitarian power. It goes to show that the … defendant does not believe in the democratic system.” Yes, of course, the true democrats are those unwilling to face the electorate! Sufficiency democracy!

[UPDATE. For a straight talking piece on the Constitutional Tribunal decision see Asia Sentinel: “The Thai Rak Thai party’s dissolution completes the military power grab.”]