Is COVID-19 an opportunity for dictatorship government?

The COVID-19 outbreak is worldwide concern over people’s health. To stop this outbreak, most governments in the world are taking serious action by locking down the city or the whole country, which is limited and violates people’s rights. Millions of people are leaving behind due to the food shortage and drive into huger. It is in a critical time and limited most of the community rights, especially freedom of expression. The Cambodian government is drafting the law to put the state under an emergency. This draft law drove many concerns regarding the government action taken against the political actors, human rights, environmental rights defenders and community people. The law will give too much power to the government to arrest and detain natural person and artificial person without comply with any legal procedure. As planned, the law will be adopted in this Friday in the national assembly. Is the government take this opportunity to fear the people?

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Thanks for the updates @Vuthy. Here in the Philippines, President Duterte asked for emergency powers, including the power to take over the operations of public utilities. Fortunately, the law that was passed by the Congress did not adopt the President’s proposal, and gave the President limited powers, except for flexibility in the use of public funds. @fmybordey @AtcharaChanOkul @Yadana @maaliniramalo @sorcrc @ayeayeaung

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Myanmar has yet nothing to report so far. Our government is still fighting for its own survival. :slight_smile: We do not initiate any lock down yet. Meanwhile, access to justice is still an issue especially for daily wagers because many factories are shut down without prior notice. Some factories continue and workers are panic about the potential outbreak. I hope MyJustice would initiate the contingency plan for CSOs to monitor and prevent GBV and other issues in the times of emergencies. Members of Myanmar National Paralegal Network has been empowering their immediate communities to quarantine the returning migrant workers. Regarding the governance, a new committee was recently formed to respond to Covid. The military is speeding with necessary interventions. Hope this may not be much articulated to take over the civilian government.

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I think at this time, even the countries led by Dictators will not afford to stay behind. Precisely, there will be loopholes here and there even here in Kenya, grassroots especially people living below the poverty line are experiencing severe police brutality

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These are very interesting times, especially for us in the developing countries. There also seem to be some serious misconceptions and misapplications in fight against COVID 19. One size fit all is the painkiller response to pain before one knows the reason for the the pain. We have read and seen pictures of many countries with people of less means, trying to walk to their original (rural) homes simply because a leader imposed a lock-down before assessing consequences. In Kenya over 80% of people are in informal employment. If their operations, are closed, do we expect them to sit in houses and die of hunger??? unlikely. Rush action can cause socio-politcal disaster. We need to consider and have regional contextualization and see what the balance might be but with utmost consideration of health, human rights and social justice. Continuous discussions will for sure enhance and enrich

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Thank you for initiating this conversation Vuthy on this topic “is COVID-19 an opportunity for dictatorship government?” Particularly in Africa, yes, It is! Reason been that most African countries are suffering from the trace of dictatorship elements; the structure of government has greatly affected good governance and in Africa, you cant talk about politics and not have a government built on corruption or have policies poorly implemented. For instance, Nigeria experienced its first COVID-19 cases in March, 2020; little to wonder, that close to 2.5 trillion naira was allocated to cushion the effect of the lock down, mechanism was put in place to disburse those funds; a palliative funds as it is so called for the poor, the next thing the citizens heard was the funds had been disbursed. Okay, if it is disbursed, how, through which means? This draws the attention of the National House of Assembly who summoned the Accountant General (AG) to present his report, only to have the office of the Accountant General of the Federation razed down by fire; information gathered concluded that the records were burnt. So, where is accountability and transparency to the most affected? As the office of the AG razed by fire so was the fund! I heard that each Nigerian during the lock down is entailed to 200,000.00 naira. If the citizens that are mostly traders, that eat from their daily trading will be locked down for two weeks, what will they eat? So, here the ruling government does little or nothing to provide as palliative to the most vulnerable only to appeal to its self. And the same government is seeking for fund and debt cancellation from the World Bank. Many Nigerians would thought this to day-dreaming rather than government’s fashioned strategy to enrich itself before the next election.