The Thai government-run Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) on January 23 announced measures to enforce the emergency state to ensure order amid escalating protests.

Xinhua News Agency quoted CMPO chief and Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung as saying that people are not allowed to gather in five or more in areas prohibited by CMPO, except legal demonstrations and elections. Any action that incites disorder is also prohibited.

News coverage and distribution of newspapers and other publications that could cause public panic or distort information about the emergency situation affecting peace and order and good morality are banned.

The Thai government on January 21 invoked the Emergency Decree in the capital and some surrounding areas, effective from January 22 and for 60 days, in response to the capital “shutdown” movement launched by anti-government protesters.

Meanwhile, the “The Nation” newspaper reported that the Constitutional Court said it will issue a ruling on whether the Election Commission (EC) or the caretaker government has the right to postpone the election, on January 24.

The EC has persistently urged Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's cabinet to reschedule the election from February 2 to May 4 to avoid anticipated unrest and violence at polling units, while the government has insisted that it has no authority to defer the election.-VNA