Thai Crisis Nears End as “Red Shirts” “Welcome” PM’s Offer
The close to two-month political crisis in Thailand could end in the coming days as anti-government protesters viewed favorably a compromise proposed by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. The “Red Shirts” said they “welcomed” Abhisit’s proposal to hold elections. Abhisit said he would call elections on November 14 as long as the protesters agree to leave a section of the Bangkok business district that they have occupied since they started calling for the prime minister’s resignation almost two months ago.
Protest leader Veera Musigapong said the top brass of the “Red Shirts” have “unanimously welcomed the reconciliation process,” but they have yet set a date for the pull out and the dismantling of their camps pending clarrification of some details regarding Abhisit’s proposal. The protesters also demand that the government stop branding them as anti-monarchy, saying that the beloved royal family, especially King Bhumibol Adulyadej, should not be dragged into the issues between the “Red Shirts” and the administration.
Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, with whom the “Red Shirts” are allied, also weighed in on the impending reconciliation, saying that Wednesday’s Coronation Day, which commemorates the king’s ascension to the throne, would be a good day to start talking about ending the crisis.