Over at Asia Sentinel, Daniel Ten Kate’s most recent article concludes that:

[Thailand’s] new charter ensures a greater say for the courts and independent agencies, which have showed willingness over the past year to ignore accepted international legal standards in an effort to punish Thaksin and his supporters. With these institutions firmly in the grip of Bangkok’s royalist elite, leading ex-TRT figures and independent analysts openly speculate that the Election Commission could disqualify PPP candidates if Thaksin’s old party is too successful.

Still, the military-installed government hasn’t abandoned the illusion that it has made Thailand’s democracy better. This week the government scoffed at a European Union request to monitor the December polls, with the foreign minister saying: “I don’t think we need anybody to teach us how to vote.” Indeed, the act of voting doesn’t seem to be a problem. Respecting the outcome may be another story.

His full discussion of the re-emergence of “buffet democracy” is well worth a read.