Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Are these faces of compromise?
Don't you think they look a bit too serious for a group of people announcing their readiness to accept a compromise with PM Abhisit Vejjajiva?
Well, this was exactly how they look when the red shirt leaders declared on stage just now that they would accept Abhisit's five-point "national reconciliation" proposal including the plan to call a new election on Nov 14. But they quickly added that they wouldn't call off the protest at Rajprasong Intersection just yet -- not until the premier specifies when the House would be dissolved.
That, to say the least, is somewhat strange. All they need to do is to do a bit of counting back to find out when the PM plans to dissolve the House. Under the constitution, an election could be held within 45 days after the House is dissolved -- but no later than 60 days.
Some sympathisers say they simply want some face-saving measure. Others say the red-shirt leaders have to convince the extremists (both right and left) to agree to take a common stand: Declare victory (now that the PM has conceded to their demand for a new election) and call off the protest.
But the premier also warned that if the reds refuse to join his proposed reconciliation "road map," he will continue with the tough plan to disperse the protest and that he won't soften his position.
No doubt, several groups of people who have opposed House dissolution have criticized the PM for "handing the country to the Reds" by agreeing to the new election.
Abhisit said on Monday night when he delivered his televised "road map" that he realized that some groups of people would disagree with his proposal.
"But in any political settlement, no single party could expect to win all its demands. All parties would have to sacrifice something to get the nation back on its feet again," he said.
The next few days will be crucial to see whether the reds will disperse to allow the PM to justify his reconciliation with the protesters.