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    Thai PM Refuses Red Shirt Demands


    by NTDTelevision

    The prime minister of Thailand is refusing to dissolve the parliament in a fortnight, against demands from protest leaders.

    Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva arrives for a second day of talks with "red shirt" protest leaders.

    But a resolution seems unlikely after Abhisit, who enjoys the staunch backing of the military and Thailand's establishment elites, again rebuffed demands to dissolve parliament in 15 days.

    [Abhisit Vejjajiva, Thai Prime Minister]:
    "You offered me to dissolve the house immediately, and then changed that to 15 days, so I'm going to tell you my reasons. Dissolving the house within 15 days will not solve the problem. We had been discussing it and thought about it, but I am willing to hold the election before my term ends."

    Tens of thousands of protesters are still out on the streets of Bangkok, where demonstrations have been taking place since March 12th.

    Earlier in the week, red shirted protesters declared they were at breaking point, forcing thousands of troops to pack up and leave to prevent clashes.

    Abhisit agreed to talks to try to defuse tensions, but has so far rejected protester demands to call a snap election.

    The red shirted protesters are supporters of ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

    Analysts say Thaksin's allies are likely to win an election whenever it takes place, raising the possibility of another judicial or military intervention, such as the one that deposed Thaksin in 2006.