After a multi-week standoff with thousands of protesters in Bangkok stranded over 100,000 travelers by occupying the capital’s airports, what the protesters had been calling the “last battle” to oust the government of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat has ended in success. Today, Thailand’s Constitutional Court has ordered Thailand’s Ruling People’s Power Party disbanded over electoral fraud.
The ruling spells the end of not just the end of Thailand’s current government, but likely also the political career of Minister Somchai, who is now banned from politics for the next five years over the ruling. The announcement was met by raucous cheers from the protesters, and passenger flights from Suvarnabhumi international airport are expected to resume tomorrow.
The move spells an end, at least in the near term, to several months of protests against the Somchai government. The post-coup government was seen by the protesters as a continuation of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (Somchai’s brother in law). Both governments were seen as wildly corrupt in the city, but were popular among the rural population of Thailand. Whether the next Thai government will be any more palatable to the protesters than the previous ones remains to be seen.