updated 3/14/2006 10:41:52 PM ET 2006-03-15T03:41:52

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Wednesday he was considering temporarily stepping down, amid mounting protests demanding the leader resign over corruption allegations.

Asked if he would consider taking a break from politics, he told reporters: “It is a good proposal, and I am considering this.

"This does not mean that I would bow to mob rule. I have to take some time to consider and decide what to do, because I have a duty to complete my mission," he said, during a campaign tour in the northeastern province of Buriram.

Thaksin, who has repeatedly said he will not bow to the protesters, dissolved parliament last month and called for early elections on April 2 in hopes of renewing his mandate and defusing the street protests.

He would be virtually assured of winning because of his strong support among Thailand’s rural majority, who have benefited from his populist policies. Opposition parties have vowed to boycott the elections.

The anti-Thaksin campaign swelled last month after the prime minister’s family sold its controlling stake in telecom giant Shin Corp. to a Singapore state-owned investment company for $1.9 billion.

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