Parliament to reconvene early; Prayut says media gag order necessary to fight fake news

The parliament will reconvene in a special session on October 26 to talk about the ongoing political crisis, the cabinet decided on Tuesday.

Anucha Nakasai, the Minister to the Office of the Prime Minister, told the cabinet after his meeting with Chuan Leekpai, the House Speaker, along with MPs from the opposition and the coalition that all parties agreed that the parliament should reconvene ahead of the schedule.

He said all sides agreed to the special session to try and resolve the ongoing political turmoil.

Tensions have been escalating since a night-time crackdown last Thursday when many protest leaders and protestors were arrested after the Declaration of a Serious Emergency Situation in Bangkok was declared.

The special parliament session take place on October 26 and 27.

Prayut said this week that he would not step down as he saw no reason to despite the student and anti-government protests that have gripped the country for the past three months.

One of the student protest groups, the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, had on Monday called for the PM and his cabinet to step down within 24 hours or they will escalate the protest.

Gag order to combat fake news

Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Prayut said that a much-reported gag order on some news agencies were to prevent the spread of “fake news” which has exacerbated the conflict within the country.

Prayut said the order was necessary to maintain peace.

“Any agency that has to be shut down will be shut down as according to the continuous police procedures and I am not violating anyone’s rights,” he said.

“My job is to prevent any harm done on the country and to stop the efforts to incite unrest and create a rift within the society,” he said.

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society said on Tuesday that the criminal court has already issued an order for Voice TV to shut down all of its online platforms.

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