The Thai leader has offered to set up a group of former judges, university figures and former prime ministers to find a way out of the country’s political crisis. Thakisin Shinawatra says his party won more than half the vote in Sunday’s snap election. It was called in response to corruption claims. The prime minister said votes for his party dropped from 19 million at the last election 14 months ago, to 16 million this time.
But the level of abstention is key – with 10 million Thais officially choosing no candidate or minor parties. Thaksin cannot form a new government as the Election Commission says it was impossible to secure a winner in 38 parliament seats. The opposition, which has staged mass street protests, says it does not accept the prime minister’s reconciliation plan. Thaksin insists that if his council of eminent personalities decides he should resign, he will step down.