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The country’s main opposition party, which is allied with the protesters, is boycotting the elections, which Yingluck called early in hopes of giving her a fresh mandate and defusing the crisis.

Yingluck led the country for two years relatively smoothly. But in October, her government tried to introduce an amnesty law that would have allowed Thaksin to return to the country as a free man, sparking the latest round of unrest.