Thailand’s election set for February 2 will go ahead, after the government rejected calls from the Election Commission to delay the ballot.
Anti-government protesters in Bangkok have been involved in violent clashes with police.
After two weeks of relatively calm demonstrations, police have used rubber bullets and teargas. Police say they have been shot at by protesters and five officers have been wounded.
Protesters, mainly from the south, middle classes and elite are demanding Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra resign and accusing her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, of being the one really in control. Both Shinawatras draw their support from the millions of poor people in the north and northeast.
Meanwhile, candidates from more than 20 parties prepared for the election in a stadium while clashes took place outside. Some left by helicopter to avoid the violence.