Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban has resigned as an MP over the Election Commission's conclusion that he had violated the constitution by holding shares in prohibited businesses.
Mr Suthep yesterday tendered his resignation as a Democrat MP for Surat Thani's Constituency 1.
However, Mr Suthep said he will not quit the ministerial post.
Mr Suthep was one of 28 Democrat MPs investigated for the alleged offence.
The EC has recommended the disqualification of 13, including Mr Suthep, for breaching the shareholding ban.
The charter prohibits MPs from holding stakes in media and telecom firms and from holding shares in firms granted state concessions. The recommendation will be forwarded to the Constitution Court.
Mr Suthep said he had decided to quit as an MP because he did not want to get involved in an imminent drawn-out court battle.
He said he needed time to focus on other pressing matters.
"I need to concentrate on my job as deputy prime minister in charge of national security. I don't want to waste time preparing for a court fight."
Mr Suthep said he sold all his questionable shares before becoming a member of the cabinet last year.
He said the charter was not violated because all his share transactions were carried out through the stock market.
He claims to have sold them off before the shareholding restrictions came into force and had no intention of abusing his power or interfere or dominate companies with state concessions.
"Since I began holding those shares in 1995, I never attended any of the shareholders' meetings," Mr Suthep said.
It never ceases to amaze me how all the people who have so much contempt for Thaksin and his weasley ways act exactly like Thaksin in every way.
These Democrats always have pathetic excuses for flouting the same laws they created to get rid of their enemies.