Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved parliament on Monday and called a snap election, but anti-government protest leaders pressed ahead with mass demonstrations seeking to install an unelected body to run Thailand.
Protesters have been on the streets of the capital for weeks, clashing with police and vowing to oust Yingluck and eradicate the influence of her self-exiled brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The clashes petered out last week as the nation celebrated the revered king's birthday, but political hostilities are set to resume in earnest.
(Read more: Spotlight on Thailand as political strife escalates)
The demonstrations are the latest eruption in nearly a decade of rivalry between forces aligned with the Bangkok-based establishment and those who support Thaksin, a former telecommunications tycoon who won huge support in the countryside with pro-poor policies.