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Thai court upholds emergency order, but cautions against use of force

Feb. 19, 2014 at 10:33 AM   |   Comments

BANGKOK, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A Thai civil court upheld the government's emergency order Wednesday but warned the decree should not be used as a pretext to use force against protesters.

The ruling came as Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra struggles to maintain power against opponents who began street protests in November, Voice of America reported.

The government issued a 60-day emergency degree Jan. 21 as protests intensified. The order allows protesters to be jailed for a month without charges.

The court's ruling could further weaken the government if it is unable to find a way to restore order, said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, an associate professor of political science at Chulalongkorn University.

"And it will be in a straitjacket like a sitting duck and something else will come along to either depose it or see Yingluck's resignation," he added.

Anti-government protesters maintained pressure on Yingluck Wednesday, gathering outside the offices of the Defense Secretariat where she has set up a temporary office, CNN reported.

About 1,000 police officers were stationed around the compound.

Demonstrators have blocked access to the prime minister's office in central Bangkok.

On Tuesday, Thailand's anti-corruption commission said it would bring charges against Yingluck, who it said was warned about corruption in a government rice purchasing program but failed to act.

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