Saturday, March 4, 2006

Thaksin: Would Resign If Poll Results Doesn’t Win 50%.

Embatlled Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said he would resign if his party does not win at least 50% of the vote in upcoming elections. Thaksin said at a rally in Sanam Luang, in front of the Royal Palace, Bangkok as he fights a campaign by the opposition to oust him.

At least 100,000 people attended the rally on Friday Mach 2. Thaksin's supporters poured into Bangkok from across the country to hear him speak.

Thaksin said he would push through constitutional reforms if elected. He said that if more than half of voters abstained or voted for other parties he would resign.

Thaksin called snap elections for 2 April in a bid to win back authority amid allegations of corruption and abuse of power.

In 2005 general election, Mr Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai Party won 61% of the vote, and he is expected to easily win April's poll too, largely due to strong support in the countryside, where the majority of Thais live.

The opposition parties have vowed to boycott next month's election, to undermine its legitimacy and highlight what they see as Mr Thaksin's unfair rule. They are to hold another of their regular rallies on Sunday March 5 at which they have been calling on the prime minister to step down.

Meanwhile rumours were rife of possible military intervention to resolve the political crisis. Thailand's army chief has insisted that there is no chance of a coup.

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