Bangkok, Dec 23 (UNI) The leaders of the military coup that removed former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra last year said tonight they would not intervene again to keep the political party backed by the ousted leader from claiming victory in today's parliamentary election.
The chief of the Council for National Security (CNS), the all-powerful military ruling panel, Air Chief Marshall Chalit Phukphasuk said he would not stage another coup to keep the People Power Party (PPP) backed by Mr Thaksin from forming Thailand's post-coup elected government.
With latest unofficial results bringing the PPP close to a majority in the 480-member lower house of Parliament, party leader Samak Sundarvej who has declared himself Mr Thaksin's proxy, announced he was ready to stake a claim to the highest office.
''The coup is dead,'' a triumphant Mr Samak told a crowded press conference here tonight.
According to latest unofficial results disclosed by the national election commission late tonight, the PPP had won 228 seats and its main challenger the Democrat Party had 166 seats.
A group of smaller parties had cornered 86 seats between them.
The CNS chief said all parties should accept the election outcome and urged people not to see the PPP win as leading to political conflict.
''After the formation of a new government, the role of CNS would come to an end,'' he added.