Thai PM to keep ‘special law’ despite opposition

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday dismissed accusations the nation’s emergency decree is only in place to control the anti-government protestors.

Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome on Sunday demanded the PM lift the special law, claiming it is only being used to take legal action against protesters rather than curbing the spread of the Covid-19.

Rangsiman says the government had eased a number of pandemic restrictions, including allowing people to take off their face masks in open-air spaces (from July 1), so there was no need to maintain the decree.

The government has extended the decree 18 times over the past 2 years despite the current dramatic drop in coronavirus cases and the easing of pandemic restrictions since the start of this year.

But PM Prayut hit back at the MFP MP’s attack and said the emergency decree is still needed, despite the easing of restrictions. He insisted the special law will continue but added the cabinet will reassess the situation when the time is right.

The 68 year old premier says the special law was successfully invoked to curb the spread of the pandemic.

The emergency decree was introduced on March 26, 2020, to control the spike in Covid cases, and gave the PM full control of anti-virus measures as head of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

PM Prayut is also positive about Thailand’s economic outlook post-pandemic, and the reopening of the country has seen an increase in international tourists, but he says health issues remain a concern for the government. Overcrowding at immigration checkpoints is a worry and some Covid restrictions need to be kept in place so there is no resurgence of cases.

“The people are in [economic] hardship. Don’t you think the prime minister is troubled by that? We’re trying to help to the best of our ability without causing more problems.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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