4 Jul 2011

Thai opposition sweeps to victory

8:34 pm on 4 July 2011

The surprise winner of Thailand's election, the Pheu Thai party, says it has agreed to form a coalition with four smaller parties.

The party - led by by Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra - won a clear majority with an estimated 265 seats out of 500, the BBC reports.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva announced his resignation as leader of the Democrats, which won 160 seats.

The military has said it will accept the results from Sunday's poll.

Ms Yingluck, who has no previous political experience and will be the country's first female leader, said Pheu Thai and four other parties had "agreed to work together to run the country and solve people's problems".

"The first urgent issue is how to achieve reconciliation," she said.

Mr Thaksin was ousted by a military coup in 2006, and critics of his sister say she is a proxy for him.

But speaking from Dubai where he lives in self-imposed exile, Mr Thaksin told the BBC he does not want to return to Thai politics.

Outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva admitted defeat in the hotly contested polls and congratulated the opposition on their victory, saying he wanted to see unity and reconciliation.