Thai PM offers to dissolve Parliament in September
Thailand's prime minister said on Thursday he would dissolve Parliament in September, paving the way for new elections demanded by anti-government protesters if they end their crippling occupation of Bangkok's commercial district.
But in a sign of the deep mistrust between the opposing sides, the demonstrators said they would not go home until the government made its promise official and specified a date for the legislature's dissolution.
On Monday, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva unveiled a roadmap to reconciliation that included an offer of new elections on Nov 14 -- about a year before his term would end -- if they pulled out of their barricaded encampment in the heart of the Thai capital.
Leaders of the anti-government movement, known as the Red Shirts, welcomed that plan, which takes into account the protesters' main grievances.
It includes respect for the monarchy, reforms to resolve economic injustice, free but responsible media to be overseen by an independent watchdog agency, independent investigations of violent incidents connected with the protests, and amendment of the constitution to be more fair to all political parties.