Thailand's embattled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra says he will step down in order to end the country's political crisis.
The prime minister made the announcement after results from Sunday's snap elections showed nearly one-third of the voters had rejected his government.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra told his countrymen the time has come for national reconciliation.
He says as a result he will not accept the position of prime minister when the new parliament convenes, but will remain as caretaker until then.
He did not name a possible successor. He said it was time to end the quarreling as Thailand prepares for the 60th anniversary in June of the coronation of its revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The prime minister appeared on national television late Monday, saying his party had won 57% of the vote in Sunday's snap elections.
But he added that he was open to all options, including stepping down as prime minister, in order to end the political crisis.
The spokesman for the Democrat Party, one of three main opposition parties that boycotted the election, Ongart Klampaiboon, said earlier that if Mr. Thaksin resigned, they would re-join the political process.
Mr. Ongart said, "We accept the offer of the prime minister - that we will join elections after political reform and the prime minister resigns."
Civic leaders who have organized mass demonstrations during the past several months said that they would end their rallies as soon as Mr. Thaksin announced his resignation, but said the protests would resume Friday if he did not step down.
Opposition leaders reacted to the resignation announcement by saying the prime minister should resign immediately.
In Sunday's elections, called three-years early, voters in Northern Thailand overwhelmingly endorsed Mr. Thaksin's party.
But a majority of voters in Bangkok and Southern Thailand cast abstention votes to protest his government Critics accuse Mr. Thaksin of corruption and abuse of power, charges he denies.
Because of the boycott, the prime minister's party ran unopposed in two-thirds of the districts. But its candidates in 38 districts did not receive the minimum 20-percent of the eligible vote needed to win.
As a result, these districts will require by-elections, which could delay the opening of parliament and prolong the crisis.