Saturday, April 8, 2006

Rally Celebrates Thai PM's Exit.

Thousands of opponents of the Thai prime minister are gathering in Bangkok to celebrate his resignation and to demand his full removal from politics.

Mr Thaksin won Sunday, April 2 election but stepped aside after a big protest vote.

Opponents warned Mr Thaksin, who will remain head of his Thai Rak Thai party, not to wield power behind the scenes.

Mr Thaksin has handed power temporarily to Deputy Prime Minister Chidchai Vanasatidya but has said he is just leaving office, and not formally resigning.

Mr Thaksin will remain head of the party, which, because of an opposition boycott of the elections, now dominates parliament.

Mr Chidchai insisted he was not a proxy leader. "Everyone has his own honour and dignity," he said.

He is not a member of parliament and cannot take the top job permanently.

The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which organised Friday's rally, remains wary of Mr Thaksin's influence.

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