State of emergency begins in Thailand

Written by | January 22, 2014 | 0

BANGKOK Jan, 22:  Protesters vying to overthrow Thailand’s government stayed on the streets on Wednesday despite the start of a state of emergency in the capital that was imposed to cope with the nation’s increasingly violent political crisis.

The emergency decree announced late on Tuesday allows authorities to ban public gatherings, impose curfews and censor local news reports for the next 60 days.

But the government said it would not crack down on demonstrators who have seized several patches of Bangkok, and life in the city continued as normal with tourist sites unaffected and no major deployment of extra security forces.

The state of emergency follows increasing attacks at protest sites for which the government and the protesters blame each other. Grenade attacks on Friday and Sunday killed one man and wounded more than 60 people alone, bringing the casualty toll since November to at least nine dead and 554 hurt.

The unrest has cast doubt over whether Feb. 2 elections, which Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra called to quell the crisis, will be held.

On Wednesday, the Election Commission was expected to request the Constitutional Court to issue a ruling on how and whether the ballot can be delayed.

Filed in: International

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