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Thailand slips into worst political crisis since 2010's bloody protests

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Thailand slips into worst political crisis since 2010's bloody protests

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There is a partial government shutdown in Thailand following the closure of several ministries faced with the crowds of protesters determined to bring down the Yingluck Shinawatra government.

Defying a tough security law passed on Monday, the protesters surrounded the Interior, Finance, Agriculture, Tourism and Transport ministries.

“It’s not violent to surround a government building. It is the peoples’ constitutional right to express our feelings,” said one young man in the crowd.

Shinawatra is in the thick of a two-day confidence debate in parliament fighting off accusations of corruption and trying to pass laws to exonerate her brother, Thaksin. The former prime minister was toppled by the army in 2006 and fled Thailand in 2008 into exile. He was given two years jail in absentia for attempting to undermine the monarchy. She is expected to win the vote, scheduled for Thursday.

The Shinawatras are popular with the poor, and their party has won every election since 2001, but they are reviled by many in the Thai elite, middle, and business classes, who accuse the family of dynastic ambitions, abuse of power, and corruption.