PM insists proposed emergency decree extension not due to anti-government protests

PHOTO: Nation Thailand

As PM Prayut Chan-o-cha looks set to approve an extension to Thailand’s emergency decree, he insists his reasons for doing so have nothing to do with the political protests taking place in cities around the country. Accusations that the extension is politically motivated have dogged the PM since the decree was extended for a second time at the end of June. This latest extension will be the third.

Opponents of the PM and his administration accuse the government of using the emergency decree to quash dissent, by banning large gatherings under the guise of suppressing the Covid-19 virus. The decree gives the government extraordinary powers and the ability to enact new laws in a much quicker time frame than normal. It allows for nationwide rule from Bangkok as opposed to individual provinces deciding their own measures, with anyone in violation of the decree facing huge fines and / or a stiff prison sentence.

The PM finds himself once again having to defend the proposed extension, insisting it is a necessary measure to keep the Covid-19 virus suppressed within Thailand, particularly during phase 6 of the lifting of Covid restrictions and more foreign nationals being granted entry to the Kingdom . He adds that mass gatherings continue to pose a risk, as asymptomatic carriers of the virus can pass on the infection, but appeals to officials to take a lenient approach with those exercising their right to freedom of speech.

Thailand has had no reported case of local transmission of the Covid-19 virus for over 56 days now.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

Covid-19 NewsPolitics News

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Maya Taylor

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