Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Thai Protesters Hold Out For Dissolution Date

Anti-government protesters refused to leave their fortified camp in central Bangkok on Wednesday, saying the prime minister had to fix a date for dissolving parliament before they would end their two-month-old rally.

The "red shirt" protesters, who had demanded an immediate election, have agreed to enter into a reconciliation process proposed by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to end the crisis but take issue with his proposed November 14 poll date.

Several thousand "red shirts" remained in the camp in an area of upmarket shopping malls and luxury hotels, many of which have been shut for weeks, at huge cost to the economy.

"We will stay until Abhisit tells us the date of dissolution," said Worawut Vichaidit, one of the leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).

"The government should withdrew all security forces first. Abhisit has no right to set the election date -- that's the duty of the Election Commission. We don't know how much we can trust the government," he told the crowd from a stage.

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