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Thai premier will ride out pandemic-related criticism

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Significance

The move is ostensibly designed to strengthen Prayut’s ability to manage the country’s third wave of COVID-19 infections, but the government’s opponents fear that it will give the premier greater latitude to clamp down on dissent. A protest movement challenging Prayut’s administration and the monarchy has lost momentum in recent months.

Impacts

  • Plans to reopen popular tourist destinations under a special scheme will probably face delays due to the surging coronavirus caseload.
  • The government will step up pandemic-related stimulus measures, including cash handouts for households and soft loans for small businesses.
  • Prayut will likely use his new powers to increase governmental surveillance and censorship.

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