After a period of relative calm, protesters against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra began again on Wednesday. Reuters reports that the confrontation between police and more than 500 protesters include tear gas and rubber bullets.
The prime minister has called an election for two months from now, Feb. 2, and protesters want to prevent Shinawatra's reelection, claiming that she is a puppet of her exiled brother. The protesters are mainly middle- and upper-class residents from the south of Thailand, while Shinawatra's party—which has won every election since 2001—is mostly supported by populists. On Monday, protesters attempted to disrupt registration for the elections, and according to The New York Times:
A successful boycott of the elections in the southern provinces could prevent Parliament from reaching minimal requirements for attendance and block the formation of another government.
The protests, though more violent than they have been in the past few weeks, did not result in any casualties, as reported so far. Protests in Bangkok at the beginning of the month killed 3. Police have been mostly foregone using force against protesters, the Times reports, believing that doing so will only aggravate the situation.