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Thai Government Says Sunday Election Will Take Place

Thailand's government says elections this Sunday will go on as scheduled, despite simmering unrest and an opposition boycott.

The decision followed a Tuesday meeting between embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Thailand's election commission.

Mrs. Yingluck has insisted the snap elections must take place, in order to end a months-long political crisis that has threatened her rule.

The election commission had been pushing for a delay, saying the risk of further violence made the vote impossible.

But government and ruling party officials who attended the Tuesday meeting said both sides agreed to hold the vote February 2.

At least 10 people have been killed in recent weeks in a series of drive-by shootings, explosions and other small-scale attacks.

Officials say two people were injured Tuesday when gunshots broke out during an anti-government protest outside the army compound where Mrs. Yingluck's meeting was being held.

Opposition protesters have already disrupted some early voting and vow to completely block routes to polling stations for the February 2 polls.



Prime Minister Yingluck called for the early elections, dissolved parliament and created a reform body as a way out of the crisis.

But the protesters want reforms to take place before any election, saying the results will be manipulated by Mrs. Yingluck's ruling Pheu Thai party.

Last week, Thailand's Constitutional Court ruled that the elections could legally be delayed, but only with the permission of the prime minister and election commission.

The opposition views the current government as corrupt and controlled by Mrs. Yingluck's brother, the exiled ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Analysts say even with the participation of the opposition, the ruling party would almost certainly win the election, in part because of the popularity of Mr. Thaksin.

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