Parliament saves Prayut, but street protests continue
The prime minister still has the confidence of Thailand’s parliament, but his popularity is waning because of the country’s economic crisis and his poor handling of the pandemic. Only one Thai in eight (13 per cent) has been fully vaccinated.
Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will remain at the helm of the country's government after he survived a no-confidence debate in parliament yesterday over his poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The former general obtained 264 votes in favour and 208 against and can thus continue to rule. In a previous debate, he won 274 votes.
Five cabinet ministers also survived along with the prime minister, including the health minister.
Prayut managed to win the support of his coalition, which can count on 60 per cent of Members of Parliament. But strong dissatisfaction remains within his party, the Palang Pracharath.
The debate in parliament, which lasted a week, was accompanied by fresh street protests against Prayut, whose popularity even among supporters appears to be waning.
The economic crisis is weighing heavily on the situation. To encourage economic recovery, Thailand eased the lockdown this month, allowing restaurants and shopping centres to reopen; at the same time, it is trying to reboot the tourist sector.
However, there are still 150,000 active coronavirus cases, with 5,000 in critical condition and 12,000 deaths so far.
The vaccination campaign is proceeding slowly with just 13 per cent of the country’s 70 million population fully immunised (two doses).