Monday, July 4, 2011

Thai PM steps down as party leader after election loss

July 4, 2011

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Monday he had decided to step down as leader of his Democrat Party, a day after its loss to the opposition Puea Thai Party led by Yingluck Shinawatra.

The Democrats, led by the 46-year-old British-born, Oxford-educated Abhisit, won just 160 seats in the 500-seat parliament, compared with Puea Thai's 265, according to the latest projection from the Election Commission.

"As the election results came out with the party winning fewer votes and fewer seats than in the 2007 poll, and in the spirit of a good leader of an organization, I should take responsibility. I therefore have decided to resign from the party leadership," he said on television.

Abhisit said his party would hold a general meeting within 90 days to choose a successor.

(Reporting by Vithoon Amorn. Writing by Jason Szep; Editing by Alan Raybould.)

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