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CMPO considers lifting emergency decree

It is believed that the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) will seek government approval to lift the state of emergency this week.

National Security Council chief Paradorn Pattanatabut said on Monday that the government had to conform to the Civil Court's order as well as respond to the business sector's call to scrap the emergency decree due to the negative impacts on the economy. He added that the authorities might impose the Internal Security Act (ISA) instead.

A security source, who asked not to be named, said changing over to the to the ISA was aimed at avoiding the nine points the Civil Court had prohibited action on.

CMPO director and caretaker Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung said the emergency decree did not really exist because of the restrictions the court had placed. He added that it was up to caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to decide if the government should impose the ISA, adding that he expected a repeat of the 2010 riots because the government did not have full authority.

Meanwhile, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul criticised the idea in light of the politics-related violence in the country.

He said the Cabinet should instruct the police to look into whether the emergency decree should be lifted and if it finds grounds to keep it in place, then it should not be scrapped.

The decree is set to expire on March 22.

Surapong said there was enough time to investigate the issue, especially since the caretaker Cabinet is due to meet again on March 18.




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