Thailand's embattled government is pushing ahead with a general election on Sunday despite warnings it could end in violence and the country left without a functioning administration for six months.
The decision to go ahead with the polls came at a meeting between Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Election Commission officials and cast further doubt over any quick resolution to months of protests aimed at ousting the government.
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The demonstrations are the latest eruption in a political conflict that has gripped Thailand for eight years, broadly pitting Bangkok's middle class and royalist establishment against the mainly poor, rural supporters of Yingluck and her brother, ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
The protesters reject the election that Yingluck's party will almost certainly win.