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Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Announces Resignation


Thailand's embattled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has announced he will step down following weeks of mass protests over allegations of corruption and abuse of power.

Mr. Thaksin said he will resign his post to help unite the country. He made the announcement following a meeting with King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Tuesday.

The prime minister said he will remain in a caretaker role until a successor is chosen.

The opposition reacted to the announcement by saying the prime minster should step down immediately.

The organizers of mass street protests says they will call for more demonstrations if Mr. Thaksin does not leave his post soon.

Mr. Thaksin's announcement comes two days after controversial elections which the opposition boycotted. Mr. Thaksin's party won the polls, but nearly a third of voters cast abstention votes to protest his government.

The prime minister's critics accuse Mr. Thaksin of corruption. They were angered by his family's tax-free sale of nearly two billion dollars worth of shares in a company Mr. Thaksin founded.

Mr. Thaksin said he plans to remain a member of parliament and the head of the Thai Rak Thai party.

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