Beset with renewed protests and a faltering economy as the nation’s borders remain virtually closed, Thailand’s government on Wednesday extended its Emergency Decree for yet another month.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha this morning gave a green light to continuing the state of emergency until August 31 as recommended Tuesday by the COVID-19 task force
Since March 26, it has given sweeping powers to the government to take any steps deemed necessary to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Though no cases of domestic transmission have been detected in two months, the decree has remained in place, ostensibly to keep it in check.
It’s also been criticized as a pretense to lock down unrest as the decree has been cited to bar protesters from assembling. Anti-government protests that began prior to the pandemic have resumed, with the largest in years taking place Saturday to demand the government restore full-fledged democracy.
Sudarat Keyurapan of the opposition Pheu Thai Party said she disagreed with maintaining the decree.
“Thai people haven’t lowered their guard, why do they need to be controlled by a special law?” she wrote online. “People are waiting for the PM’s explanation of what good extending the decree does for the country and people. Or you only keep extending it for the sake of your own stability, to control the activists from coming out to protest?”