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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 April 2006, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
Activists press Thai PM to quit
Thai opposition activist reacts to TV speech by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
Mr Thaksin faces opposition both in parliament and on the streets
Thai opposition activists have called on Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to resign or face fresh street protests.

The statement comes two days after a general election in which Mr Thaksin claimed 57% of the vote - official results are expected on Tuesday.

Opposition parties which boycotted the poll have reportedly agreed to stand in a new vote, if Mr Thaksin quits.

Mr Thaksin called the poll to try to silence opposition criticism that he abused his powers.

We would join new elections, but Mr Thaksin has to resign first
Abhisit Vejjajiva
Democrat Party leader

He has said he will resign if asked to by a special reconciliation committee, which he suggested setting up on Monday.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva - saying he spoke for the three opposition parties which boycotted the weekend polls - said it was "too late for national reconciliation".

"We would join new elections, but Mr Thaksin has to resign first," he added.

"Therefore we would like to ask the prime minister to make an official announcement as soon as possible."

New protests

Mr Thaksin is due to meet King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Tuesday, a government spokesman said, describing it as a "regular scheduled meeting to provide reports" and "nothing special".

Thaksin Shinawatra
Mr Thaksin had hoped snap elections would resolve the crisis

Street protests led by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) are due to resume on Friday.

PAD spokesman Suriyasai Katasila told reporters that a letter would be handed in on Tuesday asking Mr Thaksin to resign.

If he did so, the spokesman said, Friday's protests would be called off.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Whoever is prime minister of Thailand must be respected
Bill, Wellington

Businessman Ponganan Limprajikul, 32, told Reuters news agency in Bangkok that the protests would increase.

"More people will come out to join the protests and they could become more emotional," he said.

Thaksin loses trust

Despite his apparent victory, Mr Thaksin will still find it difficult to form a government, BBC correspondents say.

THAI PARLIAMENT
The parliament has 500 seats
Of these, 400 are directly elected. A candidate must win 20% of the votes in a seat to be an MP
The other 100 seats are elected by proportional representation. A party must win 5% nationally to be eligible
All 500 must be filled for parliament to convene
Only a convened parliament can elect a PM and form a government
Unfilled seats require by-elections

In many constituencies where candidates from his Thai Rak Thai party ran unopposed, they won fewer votes than were cast for "no vote".

This was especially true in Bangkok, where anti-Thaksin feeling runs high. And some analysts believe it will be impossible for him to govern the country with such a weak mandate in the capital, our correspondents say.

The Thai constitution also requires candidates to win at least 20% of the registered vote. Thai Rak Thai candidates failed to reach that threshold in 38 constituencies and a new government cannot be formed until all those seats are filled through new elections.


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