Jan. 31 - Upcoming elections in Thailand not expected to end protests, government turmoil. Julie Noce reports.
Elections set for Sunday in a battered Thailand could provide little respite from the upheaval that's crippled the government for weeks. Anti-government protesters, who want Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down, have said they'll boycott the polls. Even for those who do get elected, political scientists say there wouldn't be enough to provide a parliamentary quorum- which means no new government and months of by-elections. (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) POLITICAL SCIENTIST FROM RAMKHAMHANG UNIVERSITY BOONYAKIAT KARAVEKPHAN SAYING: "The violence between the two sides, as we see today, will continue. People will continue to pressure the government. The acting government will not act on it. The protest will continue, with not much violence. After the election, it will be the same." Any interim government that is put into place would be powerless to pass laws or budgetary measures. The country's economy is already suffering. Consumer confidence has hit a two year low. Foreign investors are jittery, and tourism, and infrastructure projects have been put on hold. For now, protest leaders are calling for demonstrators NOT to block polling stations, despite earlier plans to do just that. Thousands of extra police are expected to be deployed to help keep security under control.