"My idea is to set up an independent commission ... to try to find a way out of the deadlock," Thaksin Shinawatra said in a television interview. "If this committee tells me to resign, I would obey."

 

The proposed committee would comprise three former prime ministers, three former supreme court chairmen and three former heads of parliament to represent different points of view in the crisis, which revolves around demands by Thaksin's critics that he step down because of alleged corruption and abuse of power.

 

The proposal comes one day after an opposition boycott of snap elections, billed by Thaksin as a referendum on his leadership, in effect guaranteeing constitutional chaos because of the inevitability of empty seats in parliament, which will prevent a government from being formed.

 

Thaksin said that if his political opponents rejected the creation of such a committee, he would try to convene parliament and form a new government.

 

Party gets 57%

 

He also said his party had gained more than half of the popular vote in Thailand's general election, although its vote total declined from last year's polls.

 

Thaksin had vowed before the polls to step down if his party received less than 50% of the votes cast.

 

He spoke on a talk show on government-operated TV Channel 11.

 

Thaksin said his party received 16 million out of 28 million votes cast on Sunday, or 57%, down from 19 million last year.

 

A Thai television station's tally of the vote earlier on Monday had indicated that his Thai Rak Thai (Thai Love Thai) party had received only 44.4% of the popular vote nationwide, with 85% of the votes counted.