| 22 May 2024, Wednesday |

Thai PM survives no confidence vote as more anti-government protests planned

On Saturday, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and five cabinet members easily survived a vote of no confidence in parliament, as protestors prepared further anti-government rallies.

Prayuth earned 264 yes votes and 208 no votes. Anutin Charnvirakul, the Minister of Health, and four other cabinet ministers also escaped the censure resolution.

To remove the prime minister, the opposition required 242 of the 482 parliamentary votes.

Prayuth said he remained confident after the vote.

Lawmakers over four days accused his government of mishandling the pandemic and criticised him for the severe economic impact, taking aim at the government’s slow vaccine rollout as a result of not making advance vaccine orders and deciding not to join the international COVAX vaccine-supply scheme.

Prayuth has stood by those decisions.

This is the third censure motion the government has survived and comes as pro-democracy protesters plan more demonstrations on Saturday.

Recent rallies have turned violent, with security forces using tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets against protesters who threw stones and firecrackers.

Thailand has reported over 1.2 million infections and over 12,000 coronavirus-related deaths, most of them since April due to the Delta variant.

Authorities reported the largest single-day increase in cases in mid-August with over 23,000 cases.

The vaccine rollout began in June amid the country’s most severe outbreak, with people unable to find medical treatment and some dying at home. About 13% of Thailand’s more than 66 million have been fully vaccinated.

The government cut its 2021 economic growth forecast for a third time, to 0.7%-1.2% from 1.5%-2.5%. The economy shrank 6.1% last year.

  • Reuters