Is this hooray . .
. . is it all over, and peacefully?
This morning: The Constitution Court convened to decide whether to disband the three ruling coalition parties, People Power, Chart Thai and Matchima Thipataya for electoral fraud and vote buying in the last election. The court has heard the circumstances of the case for most of 2008.
Early afternoon: The court unanimously ruled to dissolve the People Power and Matchima Thipataya parties, and ruled 8 to 1 to dissolve the Chart Thai Party. The court also banned the parties' executive board members from politics for five years.
The verdicts ban a total of 109 executive members and deprives them of all election rights. The banned executives include 37 from the PPP, 43 from Chart Thai, and 29 from Matchimathipataya. Three former prime ministers are amomgst those banned: Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat (PPP), and Banharn Silpa-archa (Chart Thai).
This evening: The PAD announced an end to its protests at all sites. However, although cargo flights can begin immediately, according to the AOT (Airports Authority of Thailand) Suvarnabhumi International Airport will remain closed to passenger flights until at least mid-December due to the disruption caused by the anti-government protesters.
I thought this old photograph, from 2006 in Phuket, was appropropriate - we have been locked inside, with the prospect of a brighter future just outside and tantalisingly close, but not quite near enough. The court's decision today gives the country the opportunity to heal, to forego internal political strife and to face the other real crises of these global times.