Thailand's Prime Minister rejected scaled-back demands today that he dissolve Parliament in 30 days, prompting anti-government protesters to pull out of negotiations and dashing hopes for an imminent resolution to the country's political crisis.
The confrontation between protesters and the government they claim took power illegitimately has grown increasing hostile and recently descended into bloody street violence.
The protesters, known as the Red Shirts, had previously demanded Parliament be immediately dissolved, but softened that stance yesterday, offering the government 30 days to disband the legislature in a move they said was aimed at preventing further bloodshed.
But the Thai PBS television station quoted Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva as saying he was rejecting the proposal.
Nattawut Saikua, a top Red Shirt leader, said that with their compromise rebuffed, there was no point in continuing talks.
"These negotiations will stop. We will not talk anymore," he said.
Other protest leaders said that if no compromise was reached they would continue their demonstrations in the Bangkok commercial district they have transformed into a protest camp, paralysing business and daily life in the city.