Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and 9 cabinet members have predictably survived a no-confidence vote yesterday in court after 3 days of intense debates. The opposition, who filed the motion, strongly criticised the PM’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, subsequent delays in the vaccination programme and alleged systematic corruption.
The Minister of Education received the least amount of support in parliament after student protesters criticised him, saying he failed to improve and reform Thailand’s education system.
The Move Forward party highlighted corruption in the police force with the party MP alleging that top government officials have created a secret list that gives certain policemen preferential treatment.
The vaccination programme was also criticised by the opposition, saying its reliance on just one firm to produce the vaccine locally is slowing down the process.
Additionally, the firm selected to produce the vaccine, Siam Bioscience, is wholly owned by the Crown Property Bureau. And, the Crown Property Bureau has been taken over by HM King Bhumiphol.
Meanwhile, vaccine distribution methods have been mulled as critics say poorer residents could suffer if local municipalities use their own funds to purchase and administer the jabs.
Critics say many local municipalities who offer to fund the vaccines may have alterior political motives. Interestingly enough, local elections are just around the corner, with some candidates possibly offering free vaccines with the hopes of boosting votes.
As for the questioning over PM Prayut’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, critics say his use of the Emergency Decree was politically motivated, attempting to gain more power legally while protests heated up nationwide.
Such powers asserted under the decree have allowed the government to issue curfews and bans on large gatherings, which include political ones.
The ability to arrest demonstrators based on breaking this law has been exercised with even some minor students being charged with violating the Emergency Decree.
Arrests were also made under the Lese Majeste law, gaining widespread criticism internationally along with human rights groups weighing in on the matter.
Arun Saronchai, a Thai political analyst, said before the debates, that the government had all the numbers.
“The major coalition partners have all benefited from their time in government whether personally or politically.”
Original writer: Ann Carter
Source: The Thaiger | The Enquirer