ˇˇBANGKOK, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Thai Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra said Monday that his Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party had mustered some 57
percent of the popular votes in Sunday's parliamentary election, base on
estimates of unofficial results.
Thaksin said in a TV interview that the TRT had won 16 million of the total 28 million
ballots cast in Sunday's polling. And "no votes" plus votes for other parties
were altogether 10 million.
"Thai Rak Thai today received about 60 percent of the vote. If you include
the invalid ballots, it's about 57-42," he said.
It was his first major remarks on Sunday's election, portrayed as a virtual
national referendum on his beleagued leadership.
Thaksin had pledged to step down if he won less than half of the votes in
the snap election.
He proposed setting up a reconciliation committee to unlock political chaos
in which several groups of people holding opinionson the current situation
should be involved.
"Members of the committee could be picked up from several sectors of the
society, including judges and academics," said Thaksin, hoping that everyone
would put aside differences of opinions and think for the sake of the country.
Earlier, iTV's own tally indicated that TRT had only received 44.4 percent
of the popular votes nationwide with 85 percent counted, or 28,084,686 ballots.
Comprehensive voting results have not yet been released by the Election
However, it has announced that by-elections have to be held in 38 of 400
constituencies after ruling party candidates failed to reach the required 20
percent votes in uncontested constituencies.
The boycott from three main opposition parties had transformed the polling
into a one-party race in 278 parliamentary constituencies. All seats of the
500-member House of Representatives have to be filled before a new government is
Thaksin said that after formation of the new cabinet, he planned to set up
a committee in charge of the constitutional reform.
TRT party won all of the 36 seats in Bangkok, though it pocketed only 46
percent of the votes, compared to 50 percent "abstention" ballots.
The EC said turnout of this year's general election was about 60 percent, a
decline from the 72 percent in 2005.
The anti-Thaksin campaign swelled in February after Thaksin's family sold
its controlling stake in telecom giant Shin Corp. to aSingapore state-owned
investment company for 1.9 billion US dollars.
Thaksin called the snap elections in a bid to defuse the crisisbut the
opposition is unlikely to bow to the election results.
Maj-Gen. Chamlong Srimuang, Thaksin's former mentor and co-leader of PAD,
has threatened to hold persistent rallies, forcing the premier to step down.
Analysts predict the political stalematewould drag on as long as Thaksin remains
in office, no matter whatoutcome of the election. Enditem