Ousted Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan, freed Saturday after a two-week detention by military chiefs who toppled his elected government, said he was quitting politics.

"I have washed my hands of politics," Chatichai said just before his release. "I am no longer the leader of the (Chart Thai) party. I have resigned. I am now 71. I should get out of politics."All of the handful of detained Chatichai aides, including Deputy Prime Minister Arthit Kamlang-ek, also were released Saturday, said Col. Banchorn Chawarnsin, a spokesman for the military junta.

The military overthrew the government in a bloodless coup on Feb. 23.