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Thailand's political crisis continues -

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(generated from captions) Dana Robertson, Lateline. Thailand's political crisis may not be over just yet. While the Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has said he will step down, it is still unclear when he will actually leave the post he has held since 2001. Parliament cannot convene

until by-elections for 39 electorates

are held later this month and all 500 seats are filled. And a new prime minister cannot be confirmed until then, promising weeks of political limbo. South East Asia correspondent Peter Lloyd reports from Bangkok. It was moving day at the front door of the Prime Minister's office and wasn't it conspicuous. The message going out to Thais is that their leader has made a huge personal sacrifice. But how permanent a shift can this really be? REPORTER: Will you run the country from another office now? No. I'm not running the country! On national television, before an audience of millions, Thaksin Shinawatra appeared to bow to the pressure.

"I have decided to step down", said the sombre-faced man

who has led Thailand for the past five years. He'll remain caretaker Prime Minister until one of these deputies takes over, though it's not clear how soon that will be. There were tears from his family but elation on the streets. from a people-power movement, which had been calling for Mr Thaksin's resignation for months, but protest leaders said he had not gone far enough. If he still remains as a party leader and also being very influential in pushing the policy of Thai Rak Thai party or, in other word, being a ghost prime minister, we will not accept that. The protest movement has given the caretaker Prime Minister until the end of the month to quit politics altogether, or face more demonstrations. Mr Thaksin runs his party like a business empire, his colleagues are more poodles than politicians, so, finding one who can stand on their own two feet while the old boss remains somewhere in the background 16 million Thais voted for Thaksin last weekend. Some made their way to his party headquarters to plead with him to reverse his decision to step aside. REPORTER: Do you wish Mr Thaksin stayed on as Prime Minister? Yes, I hope and everyone love him to do Prime Minister again. For some, the affair is far from over. Peter Lloyd, Lateline.