Thailand to withdraw emergency decree as thousands of people onto the streets
Thailand has withdrawn an emergency decree that was introduced last week to end months of protests against the government and monarchy but served only to inflame anger and bring tens of thousands of people onto the streets.
“As of 12 pm (05:00 GMT) the emergency measures, including a ban on political gatherings of five or more people and publishing news that could affect security, would come to an end,” the government said in a statement published in the official Royal Gazette.
The move comes as emergency measures prompted even larger rallies.
“The current violent situation that led to the announcement of the severe situation has eased and ended to a situation in which government officials and state agencies can enforce the regular laws,” the statement said.
On Wednesday protesters gave PM Prayuth Chan-Ocha three days to step down or face more demonstrations.
In response, Mr. Prayuth said in a televised address on Wednesday night that he was willing to withdraw the decree as a way of reducing political tension.
However, tens of thousands of people were on the streets as he made his speech.
Protesters, who have given Prayuth a three-day deadline to quit said that withdrawing the measures was not enough.
“He’s still seeking to stay in power while ignoring all the people’s demands. The emergency decree shouldn’t have been issued in the first place,” Sirawith “Ja New” Seritiwat, one of the leaders, said.
The student-led movement started in the first place with demands for the resignation of Mr. Prayuth and reforms to the monarchy.