Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Thai prime minister, claims that the Bangkok demonstrations are now under control. Maybe – but whatever happens on the streets over the next few days, I think the only plausible way out of this crisis is to hold fresh elections.
Of course, that is hardly a risk-free option. In the current climate, the elections are quite likely to be a violent affair. And given that Thailand’s “reds” and “yellows” clearly do not accept each other’s legitimacy, it’s not obvious that the elections would spell the end of the political crisis. All the same, I think Abhisit has to look for a new mandate. His legitimacy has been badly tarnished by the fact that he was voted in only by parliamentary vote, after the mass “yellow” demos of late last year. Read more