Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday shrugged off red-shirt co-leader Veera Musigapong's refusal to act as master of ceremony during the premier's weekly Sunday talk show.
"Never mind, the producers will have to invite other people even though I sincerely hoped for Veera's participation," Abhisit said.
He added that he was ready to answer any questions from Veera, who is seen as a staunch supporter of Thaksin and an ardent critic of the Democrat-led coalition.Earlier yesterday, PM's Office Minister Satit Wongnongtaey said Veera had been approached to appear on a talk show with Abhisit. The show, aired on Sundays, is designed to highlight the PM's weekly address in a talk-show format.
Veera, though a voluble critic of the Democrat-led coalition, began his political career as a Democrat.
Meanwhile, PM's deputy secretary-general Panitan Wattanayagorn said Veera should have accepted the invitation.
"His absence would only disappoint viewers, plus the Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship and the red shirts would only lose their political edge. Abhisit has given Veera a chance to discuss several issues live on television. Veera would have had the opportunity to ask or say anything. Even though Abhisit and Veera have different opinions, they should discuss issues and find new solutions to conflicts in society," he said.
Abhisit would go if invited by Veera, Panitan said.
Similarly, People's Alliance for Democracy leader Sondhi Limthongkul also refused to participate in the show despite being invited by Abhisit.
I think they should have a public discussion together. Part of the problem with Thai politics is that there is never really any public debate by the adversaries. They are usually talking past each other or rely on propaganda mechanisms to get their views across.
I think Abhisit is over-confident despite his over-rated rhetorical skills and Veera is too under-confident. Abhisit's record is horrible so far.
My gut tells me that Abhisit is not sincere about the offer and it was nothing but a bluff to score propaganda points because he knew Veera wouldn't accept. Veera should have accepted.
Bangkok Pundit has some thoughts on the topic.